Comment and analysis
by Johan Lidberg
FROM the outside, without inside access to the no doubt complex negotiations, the whole situation seems bizarre. Here we have a clear and present global danger to the future of mankind and our leaders are arguing over…money.
The rich world has become rich by creating the situation we are in now. So, the rich world should make amends by supplying sustainable energy technology to the developing world and help these countries adjust to a sustainable economic system. Apart from changing at home (which is needed too) this is by far the most effective way to take action on climate change.
Billionaire hedge fund manager, George Soros, suggested last week at COP15 that the rich countries should draw on some of the their billions that lie idle in the coffers of the International Monetary Fund. This is a good concrete suggestion, but as so many times before Soros is not listened to. He is dismissed because he is a hedge fund manager. This is unfortunate as he is not your average venture capitalist. He predicted the financial crisis. He has long been deeply critical of unregulated, runaway markets and predatory capitalism. He has spent hundreds of millions on supporting civil society via his Open Society Institute. The man deserves and should be listened to.
It seems like a big chunk of the world is screaming to the leaders of the rich countries: ‘just pay the damn money so we can get started!’. Eleven million plus signatures in the on-line action group Avaaz.org’s save Copenhagen petition sends a clear message.
“Petition to the 110 Presidents and Prime Ministers negotiating in Copenhagen:
"We call on each one of you to make the concessions necessary to meet your historic responsibility in this crisis. Rich countries must offer fair funding, and all countries must set ambitious targets on emissions. Do not leave Copenhagen without a fair, ambitious and binding deal that keeps the world safe from catastrophic global warming of 2 degrees.”
Allow me to add to the petition. The delegates should stay in Copenhagen and the conference should go on until a substantial agreement has been made. This is your job. Anything less will be a failure and you will have let those down that elected you and that put their trust in you.