Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Global Perspectives on the Long March to Copenhagen

Shortly after the Bonn Climate Talks the new issue of 'Global Perspectives' focuses on the outcomes of this latest session towards a Post-2012 Agreement on Climate Change.

According to observers, the negotiations are still far from the expected outcomes. While official delegates declared that progress was made during the Bonn meeting, NGOs and the majority of developing countries disapprove such claims. According to them the USA are blocking any progress especially regarding the emission reduction targets. At the same time European Union governments' commitments remain unimpressive.

"While the U.S. is holding climate negotiations hostage, Japan and the EU appear to feel comfortable hanging on to Washington's apron-strings" an observer noted.

Equally alarmingly is the fact that developed countries fail to commit substantial amounts of money and technology cooperation to enable developing countries to cope with the effects of climate change.

Senior Adviser to the UN Secretary General Nitin Desai considers it a progress that countries at this stage agreed what they disagree about. However the principle of 'Common but Differentiated Responsibility' which holds developed countries historically accountable for climate change must not be undermined. If the industrialized world met its commitments, countries like India and China would be willing to do more. However Japan, Canada and some European states do not even honor their Kyoto targets.

Also in this issue an opinion article by Andrew F. Cooper and Gregory Chin who comment on the prospects of the G20 as new global governance structure. They warn to overemphasize the Trans-Atlantic leadership of the US and the UK which they see as being outdated and not reflecting the emergence of new actors. They also stress the importance of the BRIC-Group (Brazil, Russia, India and China) as a new voice of the developing countries.

See as well an article by Julio Godoy who puts the finger on Western hypocrisy when welcoming the ICC warrant against Sudan's al-Bashir and criticizing Zimbabwe's Mugabe and at the same time keeping close relations with other dictators in Angola, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea or the Republic of Congo. In his opinion governments in Europe and North America remain silent due to their economic interests in these countries' natural resources.

Global Perspectives is a bi-lingual (English/German) joint production by IPS Inter Press Service Europe and the Global Cooperation Council, published by Globalom Media. The monthly editions on various themes of international cooperation and development are downloadable for free.

See also the Euforic newsfeeds on IPS Europe, climate change and governance

by Martin Behrens