Monday, December 28, 2009

G20 or UN? Climate negotiations

Michael A. Levi wrote in "Slate": The Party's Over - Why Copenhagen was the climate conference to end all climate conferences.. What do yout think about it?
I thought it was interesting approach in that it considers only the dimension of mitigation, while disregarding the issue of adaptation, which is of interest for the non-G20s.

4 comments:

Richard Tol said...

Levi is right. He repeats what has been known since at least Barrett (1994). He omits that the 100 smallest emitters are technology-takers: If the USA, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, India and China agree on an emission standard for cars, the rest of the world will drive them. The market for power plants is even more concentrated (USA, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, China).

Reiner Grundmann said...

I agree. REducing carbon intensity is a political project that requires political coalition building. This is a challenge for domestic politics, and would be made impossible for 193 nations. Consider the possible constellations of driving and blocking coalitions across the globe.
BEsides COP, the UN process has at is core the IPCC. This was supposed to make political opposition against sound climate change policies impossible. The IPCC process was thought to lead to a consensus view, both scientifically and politically. Time to think again.

fred said...

Most countries are attending in order to get a piece of the $100B+ pie. They don't care for the planet or the progress of their country. If they can get $$$ without investing or developping the better it is. I hate to see all this tax payers money ending up in the pockets of thugs like Chavez and Mugabe...

Werner Krauss said...

Levi looks for 'planetary salvation' at the end of his article. Ain't that too much? What about strategies to cope with climate change - sounds more modest and more pragmatic. He indeed does not address the problem of adaptation and protection from the inevitable effects of current climate change - and this is indeed a problem for all those countries participating in Copenhagen. Thus, to generally exclude those countries is also no realistic opportunity. Reforestation has to pay, protection measures and infrastructures have to be paid for, people have to be protected. This is also part of global climate politics. Too much of negotiations? Reducing emissions is a business, too, so we shouldn't blame small countries for negotiating development money etc.
There are no established mechanism yet how to deal institutionally with a global problem. Anyway, negotiations already go on on various levels, as indicated by Levi, and this multi-level approach indeed seems reasonable. But to talk of 'hopes for planetary salvation' seems counter-productive to me; as if there could be the ONE and ONLY auhtority to solve the problem. I bet there is none except ever new negotiations on all levels.