12 October 2009

Dream On, Minister Ramesh

India's minister of state for environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh, says a final deal may not be possible at the upcoming Copenhagen conference, and that "governments should now focus on agreeing on three main areas: finance for adaptation to climate change, a deal to combat deforestation and promote forestation, and technology sharing."

Unfortunately this may not work, since at least one theory of the way negotiations have to go is this:
  • Poor nations will suffer the most from the effects of accelerating climate change, so they urgently want rich nations to cut emissions deeply.
  • Rich nations (except Norway) do not want to cut emissions as much as poor nations want them to (indeed as much as climate scientists say is necessary to try to reduce further serious negative effects).
  • Rich nations are willing to part with a certain amount of cash and technology to reach a deal that requires them to promise only cuts that are politically acceptable to their voters.
Therefore it is impossible to separate the promises of aid from rich to poor nations from the promises of emission reductions by rich nations.

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