Monday, November 02, 2009

Time to pay up

My, my, funny how things change once the bill arrives and it is time to pay up. No doubt many will be studying most intently their watches, some nervous laughter, a convenient and well-timed trip to the WC (yes, that would be you France), all the while pretending they do not see l'cheque laying in the middle of the table. Afterall, surely someone else will be picking up the tab (yes, that would be you Germany):

Negotiations to save the planet from catastrophic climate change are heading for trouble, five weeks before the U.N. conference in Copenhagen to tackle the problem.

The European Union has been at the forefront in pressing for binding, internationally monitored reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and for securing the financing from industrialized countries to help developing nations switch to clean energy.

"We can now look the rest of the world in the eyes and say 'we have done our job. We are ready for Copenhagen'," the European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, said Friday after E.U. leaders papered over differences on how to finance environmental policies in the developing world.

But even in Europe, which adopted ambitious goals last year to cut the output of carbon dioxide by at least 20 percent by 2020, signs of climate fatigue are setting in.
The money-shot:

So the European Union risks being stranded on its moral high ground.

The wrangling among the leaders of the 27 E.U. countries last week over how to share the cost of helping poorer nations fight climate change was a glimpse of the discord likely during the U.N. negotiations in Copenhagen from Dec. 7 through Dec. 18, in which 193 countries will participate.

The Europeans agreed that it would cost about €100 billion, or $150 billion, a year by 2020 to help developing countries reduce carbon emissions and that as much as half of that sum would have to come from public money, mostly from the industrialized world.

But when it came to deciding who would pay how much within the E.U., they stalled, largely because of Europe’s own wealth gap.
To quote the ultra-fabulous 'hostess with the mostess', Bobbi Flekman:

Money talks and bullshit walks....

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