BASIC Bull

by Einar Du Rietz

Maybe we should just skip this project

The preparatory climate talks of BASIC, the coalition of Brazil, South Africa, India and China, just ended in Rio. The UNFCCC has the courtesy to link to some of the reports of the apparent fiasco. Reuters here and Xinhua.

As was apparent at the latest Bonn meeting, developing countries are getting more and more anxious to get those hand outs, promised in the non binding babble in Copenhagen. Further, the BASIC countries are far from anxious to commence any drastic emission cutting programs before other countries do.

Of course, you could – and should – argue that the four countries are not really representative of the third world. Developing, yes, but economically powerful and not possible to compare to the real developing world in desperate need of energy, development and industrialisation.

Non the less, it’s another sign that Cancun also will be a stalemate. But at least, all the delegates will collect more frequent flyer’s points. Just to make sure, BASIC will hold another meeting later this fall, in China. Another Bonn meeting will start in just a few days, so all the professional negotiators will keep busy for the rest of the year.

Looking at facts, and the development in the debate over the past eight months, you would think that everyone will sit down in Cancun and decide that maybe all this was not such a brilliant idea. And move on to something else. Given the mechanisms of politics however, they will be united by the only common interest, to continue looking busy. Likely however, is that some of the big wigs among Presidents and PM’s used up their arsenals of pompous statements last year, and might consider some caution this time.

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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.