Freezing Cold and Meltdown Treaty

by Einar Du Rietz, Copenhagen

Obama is on his way, and the COP 15 is nearing climax, or meltdown. The results so far are the same as we predicted. Close to 1 000 activists arrested, some beaten. Some professional hooligans, others bystanders. NGO’s kicked out of Bella Center as too many accreditations had been handed out. (CFACT, meanwhile has been most succesful in different sorts of activism. Please enjoy the documentation on this site.)

And the negotiations at a stalemate, currently turned into discussions over two separate treaties.

For some reason, this surprises some. So what were you hoping to achieve then? Let me try to sort out some crucial points.

A so called “binding” treaty with all of the world’s countries, was never on the table, though many people – including the EU President – pretended at times that it was. The reason is simple. The American President can not, according to law, sign any treaties – only declarations – without senate approval. Such approval does not exist yet.

Let’s face it, at least on a global level, the world is an anarchy. If you question this observations, please consider all the wars going on. There are lots of international treaties, but in the end, it’s anarchy. In the case of CO2 emissions, let’s not forget that we still have private enterprise to some extent. Any national – or worse, international – emission cap can only be obtained with incentives and disincentives. Or full scale oppression. North Korea could theoretically commit to an exact emission level. Banning CFC in European refrigerators was at least doable, but you can’t ban CO2.

The current debate is instead focused on what quite correctly is most important; the money. Believing that you actually could follow up on a global treaty with accurate measurements for CO2 emissions in the third world would be naive. Handing out hundreds of billions in extra foreign aid, believing that the money will save the world, is likewise naive, but at least it’s doable.

Hence, let me tell you the result before the match is over. It’ll all be empty talk, but horrendously expensive. And you will have to foot the bill.

For hose who appreciated the melting polar beeron Nytorv. It”s now being removed. He, or she refused to melt in the cold.

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About the Author: Einar Du Rietz

Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.