Friday, June 08, 2007

G8: Some "deal"

The big news this morning is that the G8 have managed to reach a deal on climate change. Except, when you look at it, it's not much of a deal. No targets are set, beyond a vague and obvious statement that emissions must stop rising and then reduce, and there's no agreement even on what baseline to use to measure commitments against (unsurprisingly, the US wants to use this year, giving themselves and other climate cheats a free lunch). And the heart of it - the agreement to keep negotiations within the UN framework - was something everyone had already agreed to (even the US; they were simply trying to renege on it). In other words, they've agreed to nothing more than what they had agreed to do anyway. And this is presented as "progress"?


Exactly. That the US agreeing to work within the UN framework is seen as a step forward just goes to show how much the Bush administration has achieved in delaying meaningful progress on the matter.

With Bush it's all rhetoric -- classic delaying tactics. He says he's on board, even as NASA's administrator reduces the ability of NASA to monitor CO2. Priceless.

(On the other hand, getting China and India and other developing countries to meet is useful and will need to be done eventually.)

Posted by Anonymous : 6/08/2007 01:27:00 PM

Tony: On the other hand, getting China and India and other developing countries to meet is useful and will need to be done eventually.

They'd be part of the UN process anyway, and they've already agreed that they will work towards limiting emissions. However, this is still likely to be within a framework of "common but differentiated responsibilities", which will see them having more generous targets than the western industralised nations who created the problem. And this is entirely appropriate; the American demand that poorer nations essentially cease development so Americans can shirk their responsibilities is simply morally unsustainable.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/08/2007 01:33:00 PM

"IT IS time once again for that touching annual ritual, in which the world's most powerful people move themselves to tears. At Heiligendamm they will emote with the wretched of the earth. They will beat their breasts and say many worthy and necessary things — about climate change, Africa, poverty, trade — but one word will not leave their lips. Power. Amid the patrician goodwill, there will be no acknowledgment that the power they wield over other nations destroys everything they claim to stand for.
The G8 demands action on climate change; the World Bank, controlled by the G8 nations, funds coal-burning power stations and deforestation projects. The G8 requests better terms of trade for Africa; Europe and the US use the world trade talks to make sure this doesn't happen. The G8 leaders call for the debt to be reduced; the IMF demands that poor nations remove barriers to the capital flows that leave them in hock.
The question is no longer whether the undemocratic power the G8 nations exert over the rest of the world can be used for good or ill. The question is whether it will cease to be used".George Monbiot

Posted by Ana : 6/08/2007 03:17:00 PM