What Good Is Experience If You Learn Nothing

by Einar Du Rietz

Denmark, taking over the rotating EU presidency has outlined its priorities for the next half year. Not surprising, really, but still awkward.

Reports Euractiv:

“Environment Minister Ida Auken called for making energy efficiency legally binding, dismissing concerns that weak economies and the eurozone debt crisis would trump the environment in EU policy debates in the months ahead.

‘It’s not enough to be focusing on the financial crisis right now, and then not look at just as important or just as severe a crisis – namely the environmental crisis,’she said at a briefing 12 days before the country’s EU presidency begins. ‘We have all possibilities to keep the environment on the agenda despite the hard times on the economic front.”

It might of course be that also the financial crisis is better handled with as little political intervention as possible, but remember COP 15 in Copenhagen. The presiding country at that time, Sweden, declared it the absolutely most important event during the period, in spite of having to handle the Lisbon treaty, and the host country, Denmark put loads of prestige on the table. Do I need to remind you that all agree it was an – expensive – fiasco.

Energy efficiency is better driven by market forces, in spite of the standard charades in Brussels. As for climate policy, admit that it’s just down to shuffling money in a loop none can get out of.

Meanwhile, Castro on Cuba has also declared his priorities for the next year: Prevent nuclear war and protect the environment.

Rather courageous for a dictatorial family that once drew the world closer than ever before, or after, towards a global nuclear war and has spent half a century destroying the environment for its subjects by persecuting, imprisoning and starving them.

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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.