‘Hopenhagen’: The Funding Issue

In Economics, Politics on December 12, 2009 at 14:03

There is so much fuss going on about the Copenhagen environmental summit these days which has inevitably raised expectations really high. There is a broad public and political consensus that seems to be converging to a climate change deal that would curb CO2 emissions but there are several hurdles that are yet to overcome.

The major issue that arose during this first week of talks was the funding for the developing nations. Tormented by the recent financial crisis, poor countries are unable to commit to large funds for the environment. It’s more an issue of inability rather than of unwillingness. Rich countries have been historically responsible for the climate menace we face these days and are hence expected to significantly contribute to developing nations.

On Friday, the EU 27 agreed on pledging $3.6 billion per year for the next three years to the poor countries, a figure labelled as puny by the G-77 (a coalition of developing nations), compared to the 2020 total target of $100 billion per year. What is more, the EU fails to commit to a long-run strategy which raises concerns about the sustainability of any deal. If there is one thing I can detect, that is signs of scepticism from EU’s part towards the climate battle.

The talks can highly reflect to a game theory. This week, the EU Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso announced a ‘conditional’ plan of a 30 precent emissions cuts of 1990 levels by 2020. He demanded that other leading polluters make comparable commitments first, for EU’s plan to materialise. Now, what sort of politics is this..?

It’s really sad when politicians undermine the importance of such a sensitive issue like the environment, by bringing it down to micro-political level. Let’s just hope that EU’s funding proposal will just be the platform for a longer-run and more generous package towards the multi-suffering developing nations.

by the Self-Seeker


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