Climate Talks Sputter

China, India and the other developing nations are upset that commitments to provide financial and technological help made during a U.N. conference in Bali, Indonesia, in 2007 have not translated into anything more tangible.

Mr. Meyer estimated that the United States, Europe and other industrial nations need to come up with $150 billion a year in assistance by 2020 to help develop clean energy technology for developing countries, reduce deforestation that contributes to rising temperatures, and help vulnerable nations adapt to changes attributed to greenhouse gases.

G-8 Nations Fail to Agree on Climate Change Plan – NYTimes.com

Yes, it is true, North America and Europe are responsible for a bulk of the greenhouse gas emissions currently in the atmosphere and need to do the bulk of the work. But it would also behoove India and China to make the right noises. There is no sense that we’re in this together, that we will all be affected, and India and China even more so

Leadership is lacking, the US needs to take a first big step and start things of.

Update

The G8 has agreed to sign on to a limit on warming of 2°C rise in global temperature. Well, how do you get there without reducing CO2 in the atmosphere, which we apparently can’t agree to do? It’s like saying you need to go a 100km more on a road trip, but refusing to agree to fill gas.

There is a chicken and egg problem here. The famously resistant to change US system is working through a climate bill. The world is waiting to see what will happen, but the version of the bill passed by Congress is not strong enough to avert a 2°C rise unless China and India are as aggressive and there is massive technological shift away from fossil fuels. The US system is waiting for signals from the world, reasoning they don’t want to act first and unilaterally. It’s all nice game theory for people watching from the sidelines, but life’s a little more serious…

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