President Gustavo Petro, Colombia’s first-ever progressive leader, wants to help slow global climate change, protect regional biodiversity and bolster Indigenous people’s rights by decoupling the nation’s economy from fossil fuels, starting with a ban on new oil and coal exploration permits. The contentious policy change for the long fossil fuel dependent nation comes on the back of a bonanza year for the industry, which enjoyed a record-setting $22 billion in export revenues. Making good on his campaign promises, in early February Petro presented a $247.1 billion four-year development plan to lawmakers full of sweeping social and economic changes. Lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum reviews the evolving situation in this installment of the Colombian Conundrum series.
When the world’s wealthy and powerful descend on the Swiss ski resort of Davos every year to offer prescriptions to fix the world, the assumption from many on the outside is that these moguls are converging to fix it in a way that will protect their riches, or better yet expand them. Thus while there was XXL greenwashing afoot at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in January 16 to20, at least it’s clear to the Davos crowd that the climate crisis is an acute threat, if foremost to their fortunes. Paul Hockenos on the role of climate change debates at the billionaires’ summit in Switzerland.