Wednesday, November 20, 2013

That Tears It Then - The Little Countries Storm Out En Masse

They're fed up with us and it's hard to blame them.

"They" are the nations of the world (minus North America, Europe and Australia).

Look at it this way.  We're both in separate lifeboats only theirs is just about full to the gunwales with water we've poured into it.   They want us to help them bail out their boat.  We're not to keen on lending a hand.  We would much rather look the other way.  They're furious about that.  Hmm, I wonder what got into them?

In real terms, this comes down to the Warsaw climate summit and the demands of the poorest, weakest and most vulnerable nations for large scale assistance from us, the industrialized world, to help them deal with the impacts of climate change. We're balking, they're walking.

Saleemul Huq, the scientist whose work on loss and damage helped put the issue of recompense on the conference agenda, said:  "Discussions were going well in a spirit of co-operation, but at the end of the session on loss and damage, Australia put everything agreed into brackets, so the whole debate went to waste."

Australia was accused of not taking the negotiations seriously.  " They wore T-shirts and gorged on snacks throughout the negotiation.  That gives some indication of the manner they are behaving in," said a spokeswoman for Clikmate Action Network.

[E.U. climate commissioner, Connie] Hedegaard poured cold water on last week's related proposal by Brazil, that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change be asked to find a way to quantify each country's historical emissions of greenhouse gases in order to help countries establish the level of future emissions cuts.

Debate on the issue has been rejected by rich countries, which fear it could lead to unacceptable costs.

Hedegaard conceded that rich countries had a special responsibility to cut emissions.  "The whole financing discussion reflects that the developed world knows it has a special responsibility.  Most of what has been emitted has been done by us," she said.

We keep assuring these little countries that we'll be back in 2015 and we'll return with our chequebooks but they don't believe us.  Why should they?

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