Countdown to 2020

Global warming and the economic effect

The doomsday scenario for global warming is as chilling as ever, but in the shadow of economic meltdown there are fears that Rio+20 will just be a talking shop.

Twenty years ago this weekend, the biggest meeting of world leaders ever seen was taking place. More than 160 presidents and prime ministers, including George H Bush, John Major, François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl were meeting to discuss climate change at what was billed, grandly, as “the Earth Summit”.