Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Judgement Day

Adelina Marini, December 17, 2009

Such a feeling leave the plenaries at Copenhagen, during which one after another world leaders of over 100 countries make statements. Speeches vary from calm calls for a deal to blaming, searching the main factor responsible for climate change and for the survival of mankind in general. And while poor and developing nations called on developed ones to do more, vise versa - the rich and industrialized nations called for reciprocal actions from everyone because climate change affects the whole mankind and, this is why, it requires common efforts.

One of the very strong speeches today was of the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He made a stronger statement than allowed in which he explained that climate change is not just an environmental issue but a cultural behaviour. The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran blamed capitalism for its constant need to increase consumption to prosper and survive. He also recalled the world financial and economic crisis during which $30 bn worth nothing have been printed with the only purpose to increase consumption.

According to him, developed countries, representing only 20% of global population, consume 85% of natural resources, moreover by trying to control the states that own these resources. Mr. Ahmadinejad also said that the only solution was return to humanism and divine goals. He proposed the creation of a working group of volunteers from all over the world - scientists and wise people - to prepare criteria for happiness and prosperity. Beside this a new economic system should be established with the main purpose to distribute the wealth and resources fairly according to the real needs of people. However, to achieve this a mechanism for economic sanctions on defiant countries and companies should also be created.

Ahmadinejad again raise the issue for the financial aid the developed countries commit to pay to poor and developing countries cope with climate change impact and asked whether if all developed states would cut their defence budgets in half and give the money for climate change, the results would not be better. According to the Iranian leader, the victims of climate change are in times more than those who died in terrorist attacks. This is why it was necessary to achieve common disarmament because this would release a lot of money. In article 50 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic climate change and the environment is mentioned as a divine gift. Iran had already started to reduce energy consumption, it is trying to secure for 90% of its population natural gas. Beside this Iran is also studying ways to use renewable sources as well as nuclear energy.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposed the creation of a bank or a technological centre, based in China or another developing country from the G77 to deal with new technologies for clean energy.

The statement of the Iranian leader again showed that when solving an immediate global problem, the unsolved for years international and economic disputes are always the bigger hurdle.

The Brazilian president Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva also said that developed states should make more ambitious commitments for emissions reductions, equal to their historical responsibility, estimated to be between 25 and 40% by 2020 below the 1990 levels. He insisted the Kyoto Protocol to be kept and added that developing countries are making enough efforts even without international commitments. Brazil is one of the most ambitious nations in this regard from all developing countries. 85% of the electricity in the country comes from water resources and the overall energy from renewables is 45%, Mr. Lula da Silva announced.

And as the Amazon river is the largest wealth of Brazil, the country has made the commitment to decrease deforestation by 80% by 2020. Beside this Brazil will restructure entirely its agriculture and steel industry which will lead to 38.9% by 2020. However, this will cost $160 bn for the Brazilian taxpayer. He added that it was unacceptable nations that had almost none contribution to global warming to be among the first victims of it.

And South Korea acknowledged that only for the last decade it has doubled its carbon emissions but said it would accept its share of the efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Fully surprisingly, excitement caused the French president Nicolas Sarkozy. In an ardent unwritten speech he called for an end of the endless statements and for real actions. For the purpose he proposed after the official dinner the leaders of all regions in the world to gather for a meeting and start working on finding a compromise. "If we keep on heading where we're going we are heading for failure. We need a real working meeting on a decision making level - leaders' level. We all have to make compromises. Our responsibility toward pollution is bigger than the responsibility to others".

He called on the US to make much larger commitments than announced so far and China to rethink over its perception of transparency as a violation of its national sovereignty. "Who will stand beside me at the podium and say that poor nations do not need the money we're trying to negotiate here? Who will dare say that there is no need of innovation financing - tax on financial transactions? You, my African friends, will suffer the most of climate change - do not leave the summit to fail!" Sarkozy added. In conclusion the French president underlined that France and Europe were ready to negotiate.

The numerous statements still continue. The expectations are the negotiations to last till late in the night because tomorrow is the deadline for an agreement. Then the summit will join the American president Barack Obama. But according to officials from the American delegation, his participation should not be regarded as a safe heaven for the negotiations. It is still not clear whether the proposal of the French president for an additional round of negotiations after the official dinner will be accepted.