Climatic change is everybody’s business

Are the Americans entirely to blame for the failure of the world environment summit in Johannesburg? What does the failure mean for all of us and what should we do now that our governments have shown themselves incapable of cooperating on the environment? Two weeks after the largest summit of the new century, five people involved in different ways with environmental issues try to answer these questions. Tassos Kourakis is associate professor at Thessaloniki’s genetics laboratory and candidate for the post of the city’s mayor. Nikos Haralambidis is director of the Greek branch of Greenpeace, and Michalis Dekleris is honorary president of the Council of State. Dimitris Karavellas is director of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Greece and Spyros Rapsomanikis is professor at the atmospheric pollution laboratory at the Democritus University of Thrace. On one point they are all agreed – after Johannesburg, what is needed is vigilance on the part of all those who watched with great concern the scenes of disaster resulting from the flooding in Europe, but most of whom ignored the summit which was aimed at reaching the roots of the problem. «Only when the demand for environmental protection becomes a mass movement on the part of conscious, civil societies can there be any progress,» Karavellas told Kathimerini.

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