Big Polluters In Doha Refuse To Help Drowning Nations

someone drowningAs climate talks negotiators ride off into the Qatari desert mostly empty handed and the world’s media trots out the usual “lost opportunity” stories for his year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, it may be time to look at what might have been for renewable energy projects for smaller “frontline” climate state victims in our region.

One of the more interesting clauses fought for by the smaller island states was a compensation claim by the more vulnerable island countries from bigger more developed nations. The argument, which has logic written all over it, is that the island states, who have contributed next to zero to the carbon emissions that threaten their homelands, are seeking compensation from the chief polluting culprits.

You would think this a no-brainer right? The big industrialised nations which together contribute most of the world’s greenhouse gases, should pay for they damage to vulnerable small countries. But no, the major countries (or those that didn’t reject the idea outright) refused to even consider it as compensation, which would construe a legal obligation.

Those that did consider the proposal such as the U.K shrugged their shoulders and insisted the money – if it ever gets there – be directed as “aid”.

Read the U.K’s Telegraph for an old-fashioned, harrumphing, “why should we pay” version of events.

U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, whose press office is by now masters of making something out of nothing, described the talks as a success presumably because delegates agreed to kick the now almost moribund Kyoto protocol of containing emissions down the road to 2020. This even though no-one really takes any notice any more and the U.S and China didn’t sign up anyway.

“Doha successfully concluded the previous round of climate negotiations, paving the way to a comprehensive, legally binding agreement by 2015,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

However in the next breath he appears to tacitly admit that the two-week gabfest was indeed a joke telling individual countries to basically get on with it and solve the problems yourself.

“The Secretary-General believes that far more needs to be done and he calls on governments, along with businesses, civil society and citizens, to accelerate action on the ground so that the global temperature rise can be limited to 2 degrees Celsius,” it added.

Two degrees? That’s a laugh, especially with these useless U.N-sponsored talks. It seems Pacific states vulnerable to seal level rising have wised up to this though realising they can never rely on support from the big polluting countries through this avenue. Indeed what appears to be the case is that a number of the frontline states have already lead the world by converting to 100 percent solar energy in place of fossil fuel (see article here) — perhaps it’s time the developed world caught up.

The key therefore is not to rely on developed world polluting countries for aid which could well help provide frontline with technology to battle climate change and set up renewable energy alternatives but to look to other sources of funding.

As discussed, tiny Tokelau has used a $7 million advance from New Zealand overseas aid to switch from diesel power to 100 percent solar. Way to go for frontline states? Beats waiting for years for any movement at the station at the UN Climate Change talks.

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