Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Whose Atmosphere Is It Anyway? - Ours, That's Whose

The Copenhagen climate summit was always about one thing above all else - deciding who owns the atmosphere.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution the industrialized, Western world has emitted an enormous volume of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, at least half of its total carrying capacity. Now that we're working on the bottom half the question of just who can claim that atmosphere is coming to the forefront.

The Third World position is clear and it's morally justifiable. They're willing to spot the West all the emissions we've chucked into the air since we got hooked on coal and steampower but they want the remaining half allocated on a per capita basis. That way everyone would have the same emissions quota and the same caps.

But the West, it seems, has other ideas. Documents leaked to The Guardian reveal a plot underway to skew carbon emission allocations heavily in favour of the West at the expense of the Third World. The draft provides that poor countries would be capped at 1.44 tonnes of carbon per person by 2050 while the rich countries (that's us) would enjoy a more generous allocation of 2.67 tonnes of GHG emissions.

Not surprisingly the poor countries don't like getting treated as second-class nations. But what adds insult to injury is the proposal to wrest control of climate change financing from the United Nations and into the hands of the World Bank, again controlled by the rich West.


Jingles said...

What a great policy for keeping wars going.

Jingles said...

Is it possible if the conference in Copenhagen consisted of 50% women, there would be a different out come to this Summit?

The Mound of Sound said...

Judging by the level-headedness of Angela Merkel, I'd bet the outcome would be vastly different.