I was listening to the pressconference that the European Union had the last two days. One would think that by now with all the high level people attending that they would have a clear and effective communication on what they want to achieve here in Copenhagen. More often than not the devil is in the details so one have to take to listen carefully what they really say.
During these two press conferences I found a few interesting contradictions and points worth to notice. The first interesting statement is made by Joe Lionel where he concludes the following:
“The Scientific community is asking for the upper level of 25-40 % for industrialized world. Let’s say that 20 % is definitely not enough, that’s the conclusion what the scientific panel has found. therefore 30 % would even not be enough, that would match half-way what we could then do. It is not a scientific definition but a political assesment.”
Here he completely agrees that neither 20 % of the European target nor their 30 % target is enough. We have to do more to come up to a scientific standard. So the question I ask here is why is a political agenda the driving force if the science is clear? If we are to keep below a 2 degree target we also need progressive action inline with science, not inline with the political assesment made.
The next interesting statement is made by Stavros Dimas where he is commenting the ‘great deed’ of financing CDM.
“We have also invested in CDMs, many people does perhaps not know, that there are right now 3 billion euros worth of projects in CDMs, from this 80 % is from European Union and already 4 billion has already been dispersed. This is money coming from the European Union.”
When you hear this for the first time, you think: “Great, EU is contributing to the welfare of other countries and help them mitigate their emissions.” On a closer note what Stavros Dimas seems to propose here is that you should count the money given in CDM projects as climate finance. He specfically mentions that: “This is money coming from the European Union”. In this context money should NOT be mentioned AT ALL if they want to count the emission reductions that are made through these very CDM projects. However if they rather want to feel good about all the money being spent in CDM one should not count the emission reductions done. Put it simply, one can never eat the cake and keep it at the same time.
The next statement is from Andreas Carlgren where he explains the strategy of the European Union and how their strategy with a conditionalized target is going to put pressure on other countries.
“It is conditionalized because otherwise we would give up and sell out our target to cheap without making sure that united states and china would also deliver sufficiently we cover a bit more than a tenth of the emissions of the world. If the two countries covering half of the emissions of the world wouldn’t deliver sufficiently. [ ... ]. It would be just in vain and not for the good of the planet if we would sell out this target [30 %] too cheap. That’s why we use it as a lever. That’s why we put pressure on the others”
If we compare what Carlgren is saying to what Joe Linen is telling I’m wondering where the leverage point is? Joe tells us that 20 % is scientifically illiterate, at the same time Andreas tells us that this waiting game will be used to get others to raise their goals. The problems is that currently all the developed countries have scientifically illiterate targets. Would not a better strategy be to line up with the NGO, be the examplerary rolemodel, then all focus would be on the countries that do less. There would be massive media attention, generated from both NGOs and press and a lot more pressure would come from this than the meekly political pressure that we are seeing right now. That would be an absolute brilliant move. Because I do believe that EU:s core intention is for Fair Ambitious and Binding deal.
The countries have to start understand that we live in a different world than we did 30 years ago. Civil society has a lot more power with the internet technology, this could be utilized for good if the parties of the negotiations only understood how to do so.
Jonathan Sundqvist is following the COP15 negotiations in Copenhagen from a Swedish/European perspective and is writing about it on Adopt a Negotiator as well as here on Green Blog.
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