EU and China get closer – or at least more concrete
While MEF – the Major Economics Forum, a meeting of the 17 biggest economies under Obamas leadership – agreed on a 2°C-goal in the fight against climate change (no, this is not enough to protect vulnerable countries, but it is not considered „catastrophic“ by western scientists) and China and the US engage in bilateral talks, the EU is not sleeping. Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren (Sweden currently hold the EU presidency) was meeting with Chinese officials and „reiterated the EU’s call on developing countries to curb their emissions by 15-30% from business-as-usual levels in 2020“ (source) because only then the EU will curb its emissions by 30% instead of only (already agreed) 20% by 2020. Before, the EU was always referring to its second, stronger, commitment to take effect „provided other developed countries commit themselves to comparable reduction targets“ (source).
Is it right for them to demand actions by developing countries instead of pushing Rudd, Obama or Harper a bit more?
Why? Because a deviation from the so-called „business-as-usual“ (BAU) of 15% is no much. Given the crisis, the emissions (and GDP) are rising less already in China and India. Cuts in emissions have to be made from 2020 onwards in any case if we all together want to secure our lively planet earth. A BAU-deviation is a good start for those countries while others (like Korea, or Singapore) have to take cuts in any case. A less strong rising number of emissions is a target that leads – while having continued economic growth of around 8% – to an extension in clean energy. It sets incentives for government to support Clean Tech and start thinking about domestic actions. Further – and this has to be very clear! – those actions have to be supported by the rich countries which are unlikely to give money directly to a huge Chinese emission cut that requires dozens of billions of dollars. Start the financing regime that has yet to be laid out in Copenhagen with the Global North taking over incremental costs of BAU-deviattion measures can be a good thing, especially if this regimes shows to be disfuncional in the beginning. A scale up is then easier than when a big system has to be started ground-up later (or now).
Is this a western imperialist strategy to split the „G-77 + China“ bloc in the climate negotiations? Yay and Nay. Even though I am for a Global South that is helping out and shows solidarity, currently the big polluters are hiding behind the very poor. This is not solidarity but cheating the climate! Nevertheless, the South needs to be provided more financial resources by the richt:Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012“ (source). This is too late! Copenhagen will fail if countries put there cards only there on the table for the first time. However, the EU has almost assurded € 30 bn for the cause, but this light is dimmed by an anti-euro Head of State, Gordon Brown (UK), suggesting at least € 100 bn to be necessary, a demand prior send out of the NGO-community thousandfold. Further the EU calls on“ all developing countries (to) draft national low-carbon development strategies as part of a new global climate regime.“told journalists the EU would be prepared to provide financial assistance but should not commit to any figures ahead of the talks aimed at forging a deal to tackle after the existing
Conclusion: countries are getting closer and more concrete. This is good. But the positions are still to far apart. 😦