Climate change is the central issue of our time, says a leading Canadian expert in global affairs.
“(Climate change is) the only genuinely existential issue that the global community and G20 face,” says John Kirton, a professor of political science who directs the G20 and G7 research groups at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
Kirton will be in Berlin this week when the world’s leading think tanks meet at the Global Solutions Summit (GSS) to discuss major international issues and to submit policy proposals to the T20 or Think 20, an engagement group that meets in advance of the next G20 meeting.
Climate governance will be a key topic at the GSS, with sessions focusing on low-emission and resilient development, actions towards de-carbonization, and renewable energy.
“(My question is) whether or not the recommendations made by the T20 are actually realized by the G20 summit leaders,” Kirton said in an interview. “It’s time the T20 and all of the engagement groups take a hard look at whether or not the time and trouble they put into crafting recommendations make any difference in the real world.”
Yves Tiberghien, director of the Institute of Asian Research and professor of political science at the University of British Columbia, looks forward to brainstorming solutions with other global experts at the GSS.
“The international order which is the oxygen for Canada is up for grabs, it’s being renegotiated, or could collapse,” Tiberghien said in an interview. “We need to follow what is happening.”
Tiberghien’s work focuses on the dialogue between China and the West, a topic he wishes had a more prominent place on the GSS agenda.
Organizers say more than 1,600 participants will take part in the Berlin GSS, March 18-19.