- 23 Jul 21
The Boomtown Rats singer-songwriter has called for a global carbon tax to fight the “disaster”.
Bob Geldof has accused the G20 leaders of failing to act on climate breakdown, calling for a global carbon tax and criticising the lack of Covid-19 vaccines distributed to Africa.
The 69-year-old rocker claimed humanity had almost reached “the end” during an address on Thursday night at the One Young World forum in Munich, Germany.
Speaking to a global audience of 1,300 young leaders from over 190 countries, Geldof criticised representatives of the G20 group gathering in the Italian city of Naples to address the issue.
“Tomorrow, climate ministers will meet prior to the G20 where they will discuss once again what they already know they have to do," Geldof remarked. “We need immediately a global carbon tax that is appropriate to the disaster. That means that we have to pay. But the finance ministers just can’t do it.
“So, ladies and gentlemen, what is the price for all of humanity? What price? What price for all of biology? Tell me, what’s the price? It is everything we have. That is the price," the musician added. "And if we pay it, we live. If we don’t pay it, we die. They will not pay the price for humanity."
Many climate activists have criticised the idea of a carbon tax, pointing out that the top 1% have accounted for the vast majority of climate destruction and should therefore pay reparations.
“The Chinese have come nowhere near meeting their agreements on Paris. Indeed, we still haven’t funded the annual round where we can afford to get to what the Paris Accords call for, no country.
“We haven’t put in place the mitigations required. They’ll say we’re almost there. Almost. I tell you where we’re almost. We see it on television every night – almost the end.”
The Boomtown Rats singer also commented on the lack of a "people's vaccine" distributed to non-Western countries worldwide.
“The fact that Africa still is not receiving vaccines of any sort or measure, and if they do not then more millions die and this pandemic roars on," he said.
"The agenda is for the recovery after the pandemic. When is after the pandemic? You tell me. So when after?
And I’m thinking of the western United States tonight, burning. I’m thinking of the Caribbean and the eastern United States thrown up in the vortex of vicious hurricanes, worse than ever recorded."
Geldof also noted the disastrous flooding which took place in Germany and parts of Belgium. . At least 196 people had died as of 20 July — 165 in Germany and 31 in Belgium — and the number is expected to rise. On 18 July, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the stricken town of Adenau. The scene was “terrifying,” she said. “The German language can barely describe the devastation.”
“And I’m thinking of the people in Holland and Belgium, and in this country who drowned in unexpected floods that we all have come to learn to expect – the unexpected,” the Irish figure concluded.
The One Young World summit is taking place in Munich between July 22nd and 25th. Counsellors at this year’s event include Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton and professor Muhammad Yunus.
It is time for the young to reinvent and reboot for a different tomorrow as the generation with the ability to create exceptional change.
Longstanding One Young World Counsellor Sir Bob Geldof addresses Delegates at the #OYW2021 Opening Ceremony. pic.twitter.com/2buEsdtLV1
— One Young World (@OneYoungWorld) July 22, 2021
Revisit Hot Press' April 2020 interview with Bob Geldof on the rise and fall of his '80s band here.