Me First? No, You First — I Insist.
Brazil, China, India and other emerging nations said greenhouse-gas output from developed nations “should peak without any delay no later than 2012.”
Developed countries should cut emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 under an extended Kyoto Protocol, the countries said in a submission yesterday to the United Nations- overseen climate talks in Bonn. “They should have peaked before 2000,” according to the document.
Developing nations, including the African group, Argentina, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Uruguay said rich nations “shall not resort to any form of unilateral trade and other trade-related measures against goods and services from developing country parties on any grounds related to climate change.”
They also sought easier access to technology related to climate protection. “Specific and urgent measures shall be taken by developed country parties to enhance the development and transfer of technologies at different stages of the technology cycle covered by intellectual property rights to developing country parties.”
Developing nations: We didn’t make this mess, so the only fair way to get it under control is for you to subsidize our transition to cleaner energy, make your emissions peak immediately, and not use your main source of leverage (trade) to try to get us to curtail our emissions sooner than we want.
Developed nations: If you guys don’t get your emissions under control very soon, the whole planet is screwed. But you refuse to even talk about a peak, and will only commit to reductions in CO2 intensity per unit of economic output. That’s a formula for rising emissions for the next 20 years, and it’s not nearly good enough.
Developing nations: You have no right to control what we do inside our own country. And besides, a lot of our emissions come from building crap you buy.
Developed nations: So, you control how you make things you sell to us, but we’re responsible for the emissions from your decisions, which we can’t control, and now you’re saying we can’t even use that trade to leverage you into lower emissions? We get all the responsibility and no control?
Developing nations: Not our problem. You made this mess with your emissions.
Developed nations: Really? So we should be held accountable for our emissions in years before anyone knew what a problem climate change would be? If so, that’s a bizarre and unsupportable position. If not, then every country is responsible for its emissions and all related actions since the date we knew this was a big problem — and that’s been quite a while. How many coal plants have you built, and how many billions of tons of coal have you burned after climate change discovery? And how has your population control been working since then?
Developing nations: It’s not our fault. You dumped all that CO2 into the atmosphere, so it’s not fair to ask us to sacrifice to avoid a catastrophe.
Developed nations: Even if we do everything you say make our emissions peak in 2012, then your actions will still push us over the edge (assuming we aren’t there already and simply haven’t hit the bottom of the canyon yet). You’re sacrificing the world so you can play catch-up with us.
Developing nations: We just want what’s fair. You’re sacrificing the world because you don’t want to give up your SUVs, jet flights, and all that crap you buy from us.
Anyone who sees a good solution to this deadlock, please feel free to speak up.
 This is how I perceive both side are acting in this mess, not, I repeat not how I see it. So save your righteous indignation for someone who deserves it.
Other Posts by Lou Grinzo
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