The President of the United States is expected to arrive in Copenhagen on Friday to negotiate. Both the United States and the European Union (EU) are competing to set up the equivalent of climate trust funds upwards of $100 billion each, over the coming decade, to help those countries which could be most affected by climate change through 2050 as the world expects to cut CO2 emissions by 83% or so by that time.
Freedom from fear has not arrived even after close to a century after FDR because of political paralysis. The hope and action amalgam of inducing change is all pure hope and no action, and therefore no change, because change is stuck in negotiations.
The fear factor is the potential rise in global temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees celsius because of CO2 and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which, in turn, are expected to change climate for the worse, a scientifically highly tenuous connection. The reality is the depletion of the fossil fuels resources that produce those GHGs. By 2050, when the world runs out of them, there would be no more warming due to GHGs because there won’t be any fossil fuels remaining to pollute. So, climate change would not be a problem, but energy would be. Even the oil-rich Arabs are preparing for it by 2030.
The world’s largest economies, the United States and the EU, have just lost their shirts to the tune of tens of trillions of dollars combined, and will end up supplying as much over the next decade to the global financial markets to get out of the economic mess. $100 billion over the same decade, in separate slush funds, is a paltry sum when the institutional mechanisms to supply that or more money as long term loans toward alternative energy investments through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group already exist.
The new energy economy is the way to get out of the economic mess and it is appalling that the mavens of finance cannot still see the connection between the trillions they are receiving from their central banks and governments and Copenhagen, let alone any efforts by the G7 governments themselves to induce them to see it. The only explanations are plain stupidity or blind corruption, not in the developing and poor countries but among the wealthy.
It is high time that the United States set an example by committing the United States at Copenhagen to a reduction in U.S GHG emissions by 85% by 2030 from their absolute total U.S levels in 2007, unilaterally, just as the United Kingdom once upon a time had committed itself to coal, unilaterally.
All nations participating in the negotiations must agree to commit to the goal of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by 85% from the 2007 baseline levels, independent of whether all nations commit to that goal by December 18, 2009. All nations in agreement with this objective, including the US and EU, must be monitored by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group as they already currently do on the economy, for carrying out their commitment and obtain assistance as needed through these international institutions.
The only negotiation that exists is with nature, not among countries. It is time to get real to transform the global energy paradigm.