The Summit of the leaders, the gestures of the people


From denial to acceptance, and from there to the conviction that urgent action must be taken against the disastrous effects of climate change. That has been the evolution of society in the face of the environmental deterioration of the planet, something like the phases of response of any of us to a traumatic situation.

There is bad news: The speed and impact of the ravages caused by the enormous concentration of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane emitted into the atmosphere reaches unbearable levels. And there is good news: that world organizations, governments, to a greater or lesser extent, but above all citizens and businesses are willing to act.

That spirit is the one that permeates the special supplement with which 20 minutes wants to express today its commitment to United Nations 2030 Agenda and specifically with the urgency of applying sustainable measures in all areas.

Europe has been, a few days ago, the first continent to declare itself in ‘climate emergency’. It is the recognition that "we manage the planet in a disastrous manner," as Clara Arpa, a Spanish businesswoman who is a member of the board of directors of the United Nations Global Compact for the commitment of her company, dedicated to manufacturing mobile campaign equipment, says with the sustainability Arpa is focused on the dissemination of how companies, and in particular SMEs, can make the transition to sustainability. Just as the European Union has announced an aid fund for the regions affected by its decarbonization plan, companies must be helped on their way to a model that saves the planet.

"There are many young people leading change on every continent"

Is it possible to do it even if leaders of powers like the United States put themselves in profile? The answer of those who have committed themselves to this essential and gigantic objective is yes.

Another impossible question to avoid is whether the summits like the one that Spain hosts in Madrid mean an expense, also in carbon footprint, superfluous and avoidable. the answer is no. Each meeting, with all its paraphernalia, makes visible the problem and translates into commitments that these years have led to advances in which there is no turning back.

The third question to which these pages try to answer is What can citizens do, each one of us. There are many practical suggestions: from practicing the ‘three R’ strategy, reduce, recycle and reuse, applicable to plastics but also to all types of consumption.

In addition to Greta Thunberg and his media trips, there are many other young people leading the change. We show the faces and gestures of Emily Taylor, Helena Gualinga, Vivek Vashit, Paul Mutuku … They are hopeful that there will be a future, and also, here and now, that we can have a breathable present

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