What’s the substance behind Europe’s climate rethoric?
Published 02nd October 2009 - 5 comments - 1332 views -
We’re hearing it all the time: Europe sees itself as the world leader on climate change.
But what is the European Union really putting on the negotiating table for Copenhagen?
Two main thoughts come to mind...
Number 1: The EU’s proposed emission reductions are not in line with the science
The EU has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below 1990 by 2020, or by 30% if a global deal is agreed in Copenhagen that involves other developed countries pledging significant cuts.
Scientists are telling us that to keep the planet below 2°C, rich countries must cut their emmissions at least by 40% below 1990 by 2020.
If global temperatures rise more than 2°C over pre-industrial levels, the climate impact on water resources, food production, sea levels, and ecosystems is predicted to be catastrophic for billions of people, and scientists believe dangerous feedback loops (which trigger spiraling temperatures, increasing much higher much faster) are likely to kick in.
Number 2: The EU is proposing to rob money for schools and hospitals in developing countries to pay for its climate debt
The European Commission is proposing that rich countries should take money from existing promises to increase overseas aid spending to 0.7% of national incomes. This will steal money that would otherwise be spent on education and health projects in poor countries, which will undermine progress towards meeting the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.
This is scandalous, especially given Europe's responsibility as one of the world's biggest polluters who has caused the problem, and the onus on them to clean up.
It’s now up to EU Member States to come up with a stronger proposal at the European Summit on 29-30 October, to get a good climate deal that does not come at the price of the future development of poorer countries, who are already being hurt by global warming.
Funds to help developing countries to tackle climate change must be additional to aid – not instead of it.
Number 3: (your thoughts)
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