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close this book Sustainable Energy News - No. 4 March 1994
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View the document Climate Negotiations - the temperature is rising

Climate Negotiations - the temperature is rising

by René Karottki and Rasmus Gade

Another round of negotiations on the International Climate Convention was carried out in Geneva in February, 1994. There is still a great difference in opinions between the countries on how to solve the climate problems. The problems are complex and many concerns must be taken into consideration.

It is a fact that the major criminals are the industry of the Western world. Though the Western countries hesitate, when it comes to reducing domestic CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, the climate problem is now recognized as such by more and more people. The Greenpeace newsletter Climate News says that the insurance industry now acknowledge the links between climate change and economic interests. In Barbados, venue for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States in April 1994, climate changes have already had a bad effect on the insurance market. These islands play an important role in the discussions, because they are indicators of changes in the global climate. The small islands may actually vanish from the face of the earth, if the sea level increases.

Instead of reducing domestic CO2 emissions, part of the Western countries want to buy themselves free, for instance by planting trees or making investments in 3rd world countries, e.g. in the energy sector. This is the socalled Joint implementation. Most 3rd world countries resist this. They fear that these investments will benefit Western interests rather than solving problems of the 3rd world.

The Chinese, big CO2 polluters themselves, fear for the consequences of tough CO2 demands - the demands may come back to them as a boomerang. Oil producing countries led by Saudi Arabia do all they can to stop the Western countries from reducing their oil consumption, because this means less oil export for them.