Developing countries’ interests lie with the EU in achieving a solution to the threat of climate change
January 28, 2010
By Roland Rudd, Chairman, Business for New Europe
As world leaders gathered in Copenhagen last December for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, President Sarkozy of France delivered a rallying call urging those gathered – including over 120 leaders – to put aside their differences and agree upon the instruments necessary to tackle climate change. He said, “Time is against us, let’s stop posturing… A failure in Copenhagen would be a catastrophe for each and every one of us”.
Looking back at what many consider to be the failed Copenhagen negotiations, there is a widespread belief that a golden opportunity has been lost. The negotiations failed to reach a substantive agreement because a small number of countries, primarily from South America and Africa, scuppered a global agreement. It is widely acknowledged that they did so at the behest of China, reflecting the enormous changes that have occurred in geopolitics over recent years, and their implications for the green economy.
How can we ensure that the same doesn’t happen again in Cancun? If we are serious about resolving the issue of climate change, European governments and businesses must persuade developing countries that their interests lie with the EU and the United States in achieving a solution, rather than in following China down the road of not doing enough.
To give one example; Africa could benefit enormously from a global carbon trading system. At present, the carbon trading system disproportionately benefits China, almost to the exclusion of everyone else. The majority of funds generated by it go to China, with Africa receiving about 3%. We need to change this system, and by changing the system, persuade developing countries in Africa, South America and other parts of the globe that their future lies with Europe. It is the first step in countering the threat of climate change.Author : European Movement UK