Friday, December 11, 2009

Today in Shakedown City: News from Copenhagen

Some updates from the Climate Change summit.

The UK's Mirror says

Developing countries at the Copenhagen conference are demanding more money to fight climate change.

Lumumba Di-Aping of Sudan, the head of the 135-nation bloc of developing countries, said the 10 billion dollars a year proposed to help poor nations change paled in comparison to the more than $1trillion already spent to rescue financial institutions.

"If this is the greatest risk that humanity faces, then how do you explain $10 billion?" he said. "Ten billion will not buy developing countries' citizens enough coffins."

Some of the poorest nations feared too much of the burden to curb greenhouse gases is being put on them. They want billions of dollars in aid from the wealthy countries.

According to the BBC,

At a European Council meeting in Brussels, EU leaders have agreed to pay 7.2bn euros ($10.6bn; £6.5bn) over the next three years to help developing nations adapt to climate change.

Announcing the deal, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said all 27 EU member nations would contribute. The pledge is more than the EU target of 6bn euros ($9bn; £5.5bn) by 2012.

And here's what Forbes has to say:

"Given the fact that developed countries have done nothing but empty talk, they have no right to make further requests," said Xie Zhenhua, China's top climate negotiator, on Dec. 7.

There was no question about whom the Chinese were referring to. On the following day, Su Wei, another climate official, went out of his way to take on President Obama's proposed cap on emissions. Su, at a press conference in Copenhagen, sneered at the American offer, saying it "cannot be regarded as remarkable or notable.” He had equally unkind words for the EU and Japanese proposals.

And what about the West's proposed $10 billion climate fund to help developing nations?

"This $10 billion, if divided by the world population, it is less than $2 per person,” said Su, who then noted that such amount was not enough to buy a cup of coffee in the Danish capital or a coffin in destitute nations. "Climate change is a matter of life and death," he noted.

If it is, the Chinese government does not seem overly concerned. China has rejected any cap on its emissions on the basis that it is a developing nation.

The rest is worth reading in full

In conclusion, I wonder that these developing nations will be kind enough to

a) please stop sending us all their citizens, who add substantially to our carefully balanced populations in Western countries and thus add significantly to carbon emissions - perhaps they could even take some back? - and

b) consider NOT allowing their own populations to spiral out of control.

If the money is used towards these goals, then maybe it's worth it ...

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