Emirates boss says he took too long to accept climate crisis

It took Sir Tim Clark a long time to face up to the climate crisis.

The president of Emirates, the biggest long-haul airline in the world, was no climate change denier. But he was pretty sceptical about some of the claims.

Not now, though. “The stark reality of climate change is with us. I’m a climate change believer. I have to say, it took me a long time to get there.

“And we [in the aviation industry] aren’t doing ourselves any favours by chucking billions of tons of carbon into the air. It’s got to be dealt with,” he told the BBC.

It’s a frank admission from one of the most powerful people in an industry that has many commercial reasons to bury its head in the sand.

Another surprise is his admiration for climate change activists. “I quite like Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg for having brought a real focus to the issue; a focus on the fact that we are not doing enough at the speed we should be.

“I’m not condoning some of their methods. But Extinction Rebellion and Greta have a role to play… We really need this kind of thing to force us to make decisions.”

Activists have done more to highlight the issues than any government or industry body ever has, he says.

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