Posts Tagged ‘india’


Will it be possible to reach a deal on the climate in December?


With the conference in Copenhagen just a month away, a good deal of the efforts of the Swedish Presidency lie on preparing the climate issue. Last week, Prime Minister Reinfeldt represented the Swedish Presidency at the EU-USA and EU-India summit. That the US must be ready to take its responsibility if we are to reach a deal on the climate is a plain fact, but it is also important that the fight against global warming includes developing countries. It is therefore pleasing that the EU-India summit resulted in an agreement on support of the two degree target, even though this is a domestically sensitive issue in India.

Climate negotiations have also been going on in Barcelona, in a last negotiation meeting in front of Copenhagen. Progress was made on technical issues and there were good discussions, leading to a greater level of understanding. But the politically sensitive issues were not solved. If we are to reach a deal in Copenhagen, a greater will to negotiate is needed. The two core issues are the level of the emission reductions and the financing of the necessery measures, and we need to move forward in these areas. The EU has committed itself to reduce its emissions with 30 % if other countries make comparable commitments. Now, the US and other industrialized countries must step up their ambitions to reduce emissions, and the more advanced developing countries must make adequate commitments according to their respectively capabilities and responsibilities.

Regarding financing, the EU has expressed its support for the European Commissions estimate that costs in developing countries could amount to 100 billion euro annually by 2020. This issue was also raised at the meeting of the G20 finance ministers, but regrettably, they were unable to make the needed progress. It is now up to the US and other industrialized countries to also present a credible financing of the needs of the developing countries.

The Swedish Presidency continues with its work, and I am glad that the EU acts as the well-needed leader. The basic success story of the EU is that cooperation works. This is a lesson that now must be learnt by the rest of the world, too.


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.