20 September 2009

Danish Climate Host Tells India, China: Too Bad For You

In a interview with the New York Times, Danish minister of climate and energy and host for the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference, Connie Hedegaard, has some rather undiplomatic things to say about India and China (emphasis added):
Ms. Hedegaard would also like fast-developing countries like India and — especially — China to commit in some way to limiting their emissions, noting that by 2020 two-thirds of emissions will come from countries now considered developing nations.

China and other emerging nations must accept it even if it isn’t fair,” she said, adding, “I get it. If I were a developing country I would say, ‘Why should I do this?’ They are feeling the consequences of climate change first and foremost. And they didn’t create the situation.”

But, she said, “it’s just an arithmetic fact that if China and India continue at the current rate they’ll use up the whole global carbon space in a very short time.”

I don't think that a "tough luck for you" argument will play so well in Beijing and New Delhi.


jgdes said...

I think they might well reply by saying that they are committed to reducing emissions, not by unrealistic, sound-bite targets to be ritually ignored, but by investments in alternative energy technology. Nor have they yet felt any of the speculative and overblown consequences of a temperature increase. Their most immediate environmental concern from fossil fuel burning is surely air quality. It's high time the European politicians smelt what they're shoveling.

TripodGirl said...

How can those of us in affluent countries possibly be preaching a gospel of delayed development to the poorest of the poor? We're talking folks without access to safe drinking water, electricity, basic health care or sanitation. The idea that THESE people should make sacrifices in order to combat the highly speculative future global warming crisis is breathtaking. How can such a position be remotely morally acceptable?

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