Long way to Copenhagen


Our Environment and Energy ministers continue today their work in Åre in order to find a common view among the EU member states on the task of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. A couple of weeks ago, the G8 countries agreed that action must be taken for the temperature not to increase more than 2 degrees. The active role of the United States was important at that meeting. It is gratifying to see the dramatically changed perception of the climate issue in the White House after Obama took office. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also visited India recently to discuss the climate deal. India has been unwilling to undertake reductions in emissions. Yesterday even the Indian Environment Minister questioned the scientific evidence for climate change.

This is unfortunate for several reasons. Of course, there are more pressing problems in the daily life of the Indian people. But India is certainly one of the countries that will suffer most from heat, desertification and water scarcity at a temperature increase. The financial margins in developing countries are small but the potential for improvement is enormous. For example, a more reliable electricity supply sharply reduces emissions from inefficient diesel generators. These are relatively inexpensive measures taken with conventional technologies. It is important that developing countries undertake emissions reductions. It is also important that the industrialized countries will help them with the financing of these measures.

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