Saturday, 12 December 2009

Squabbling for dominance

I am not surprised, but I am saddened.

The Danish text, a draft agreement drawn up at Copenhagen by the "circle of commitment" which, reportedly, includes the UK, has severely damaged trust between the rich and poorer nations. The text was leaked to The Guardian newspaper and published on it's website

also reported on by the Guardian here

and the BBC here

The impact of this text and it's implications are huge. It is true that it was only a draft document, but it was drawn up outside the offical UN process and the intent, which it shows is actually very unpleasant.

To "lock in inequality" by allowing developed nations to emit more, while more severely restricting emissions from developing nations removes the fundamental ideal of equality from the negotiations and allows the already industrialised nations which bear the historic resposnsibility for a large proportion of atmospheric CO2 to benefit at the expense of those without that historic responsibility.

To also envisage placing financial control of the climate fund in the hands of the World Bank (removing the UN from centrality) and make it's distribution of money to developing nations dependent on their actions can also be viewed with understandable caution and trepidation by some, although it appears now that the proposed board to manage the fund would be accountable to the UN.

When taken with some of the criticisms of the cap-and-trade emissions trading scheme, which seems to be a central point of the negotiations, such as the profits to be made from this scheme by companies based in the developed nations, it does not paint an enchanting picture.

The intent of some to profit as climate change bites is actually quite shocking to me. Is this a symptom of our culture of consumption?

Meanwhile, the split within the ranks of the G77+China over the proposal by Tuvalu which posits emissions caps on developing nations as well as on developed nations (which are enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol), reported here by the Guardian (
does not bode well.

I am saddened that in the face of the oncoming crisis, we have not all risen to be the best of ourselves and I am concerned that this squabbling for dominance will fritter away what limited time we have.

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