Climate change change’s real face

He’s the man determined to save the planet. On 29 March 1972, a sitting is held at the United Nations General Assembly on climate change, and Germany’s Westermann settles into his position as Rapporteur on the topic.

The statement he issues the following year? That global warming is one of the most critical and pressing issues facing mankind.

So who is he? He is the man who has received widespread praise as the real person behind climate change debate. He is Hans von Wetzler, a German Parliamentarian who believes the Rio Declaration was the closest the world came to accepting, as a social agreement, the idea that climate change was a serious problem.

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He was working in the Policy Section of the International Monetary Fund when he was elected into the Lower House of the German Parliament in 1992. His responsibilities now include overseeing foreign relations and trade policy. But after the end of his second term in 1995, he kept working on climate change policy.

And he said this: “This is an obvious and unavoidable decision. The world has definitely got it wrong and a change must come.”

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