Just Politics as Usual

by Einar Du Rietz

All the players are gearing up for the Durban festivities in a month. Though only accounting for about 11 percent of the worlds carbon emissions, the European Union, not surprisingly wants to play a major role.

Euractiv gives an update:

“Environment ministers of the European Union – responsible for only 11% of global carbon emissions – said they would commit to a new phase of the Kyoto climate change pact, on the condition that nations blamed for the rest join up too.

The environment council conclusions, agreed in Luxembourg on 10 October, outline the bloc’s negotiating position ahead of the next global climate conference in Durban, South Africa, which starts at the end of November.

However.

‘What’s the point of keeping something alive if you’re alone there? There must be more from the 89%, ‘EU Environment Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told Reuters.”

Some people might argue that there are more important things for the EU, and the Euro zone in particular, to concentrate on these days, but as every country has an environment portfolio, these people need something to do as well. Non the less, regardless of the alleged commitment, the decision seems to have been a bit shaky.

As for the “Assigned Amount Unit”, the very tool to control any emissions, unity seems to be far away, even in the EU. Considering the major players, China, India and the US, A fair guess is that Durban will be another round of hot air. Costly, as always, but not leading to any even more costly treaties.

Just as well. At least we are not experiencing the same amount of hysteria that surrounded the Copenhagen conference. Not yet. May one even hope that this could be the last act in this expensive circus?

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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.