Geoffery Lean: Zeal of the converts as the battle for hearts and minds heats up in cimate change debate
Published 17/02/2012 | 15:37
THERE'S more joy, it seems, in the climate debate about one perceived sinner who repents than over 99 who are not thought to need to do so. So both sides are quick to exult in what they see as conversions.
Two such are being paraded at the moment. Those warning against the dangers of climate change are delighted that they have been joined by the oil minister of Saudi Arabia, the country that (for obvious reasons) has done most over the years to try to obstruct international agreement on measures to curb carbon emissions. In a Chatham House speech the other day, Ali Al-Naimi – the country's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources – thrilled them by agreeing that “greenhouse gas emissions and global warming are among humanity's most pressing concerns”.
He went on: “Societal expectations on climate change are real; and our industry is expected to take a leadership role. We are doing this in Saudi Arabia.” He said his country was “making great strides towards diversifying our economy away from its over-reliance on fossil fuels”.