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Dr Rajendra Pachauri: Time to forget governments and use people power to fight climate change

By Ed King

The world’s leading climate scientist says governments’ reluctance to tackle the causes of climate change means they should be bypassed in favour of global ‘people power’.

Climate change was marginalised at the Rio+20 talks, in an apparent attempt by the hosts Brazil to make coming to a final agreement as straightforward as possible – mindful of how controversial the topic has become.

Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that the experience of Rio proves that the political will to take action simply isn’t there – and argues that a new form of activism is the only answer.

“I would submit that the time has come that we shouldn’t really wait for governments,” he said.

“Governments will of course have to play their own role – but what we really need to rely on is creating awareness among the people, so that each one of us in our own way should start treating this problem as serious – and meeting the challenge that confronts us today.

“Climate change was officially not on the agenda for Rio, but there is no getting away from the fact that everything that is being discussed [in Rio] is intimately connected with climate change.

“So I think it would be totally unrealistic to believe that we can talk about a green economy, sustainable development or the problem of poverty without dealing with the issues connected with climate change.

“Climate change is in a sense the 10-tonne gorilla which is in the room and you’re not going to get rid of him easily.”

The IPCC will publish its 5th Assessment Report into the knowledge on the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change in 2013.

VIDEO: Dr Rajendra Pachauri at launch of Climate Change Task Force Statement on Action to Face the Urgent Realities of Climate Change

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