In the frosty twilight of a Copenhagen winter, Rahul Bose took to the streets this weekend, along with fashion model Helena Christensen, to fight to save the planet from selfish government, greedy industrialists, macho motorists and consumer junkies – clearly he’s a man who enjoys a challenge. Around 50,000 people joined the march and there were over 900 arrests although most were released without charge within a couple of hours.
The event was Global Action Day and the place was the Bella Centre where the UN Conference on Climate Change was producing little more than hot air in its efforts to create a follow-up to the Kyoto Treaty. Rahul was concerned that having created the problem of rapid climate change through a consumer-led society, the western world was now trying to solve the problem by preventing the developing world from enjoying a similar standard of living. He compared it to a soccer league where the rich team has been found to have been cheating all along, “Then, one day it was revealed that the rich team had cheated,” he said, “There was a meeting like COP 15 between both teams when the rich team said: ‘We’ll stop cheating provided you stop playing soccer’.”
The Bollywood actor then went on to say, “Instead of telling us to stop emitting, they should give us the technology for clean energy.” Rahul’s worry is that without an approach that recognises climate change is a global threat that requires a global response, the developing nations would walk away from any deal – and the western world would escape from its responsibilities – but the real losers of course would be the poorer people of the planet, who are most likely to suffer the brunt of climate dysfunction. “I came primarily because in India I got a feel that developing countries might move away from the Kyoto Protocol,” he explained, “I thought it was a good opportunity to put one more hand to the wheel… this is not a time to budge from our position.”