“A year ago they were brimming with selfless idealism. They agreed to make deep cuts in carbon emissions (by a fifth from 1990 levels by 2020), even if other rich countries did not follow. The signal was clear:
“That was then. A year on, with the world economy looking wobblier, the March summit was a less uplifting affair. Leaders from countries with powerful heavy-industry lobbies called for explicit measures to “protect” European firms in case talks on a global climate-change deal failed (and left the Europeans pushing ahead with tough curbs on their own). In a move that would make an American divorce lawyer proud,
Comments: Remember all the snarling in early December that was taking place in
But it seems that the mechanism that the E.U. is using (Emissions Trading Scheme or ETS) to guide it along to a greener economy and a better world is not working as well as was hoped or intended. There are already squabbles and divisions appearing despite the fact that no one will admit it just yet. European industries have been doing a neat end-around the ETS by funding projects in the developing world and have threatened to continue to move some industries abroad.
So now European countries, and their respective industry lobbyists, are calling for a sort of environmental protectionism or eco-tariff on products produced in countries that do not have measures as tough as their own. All while the global economy is slowing. Talk about putting a stake in their own hearts.
But this gets better. In Bali, if you remember, environmentalists and some of the scientists that support their view called for bigger cuts than the
Europe’s ETS is a sort of pilot program for a global carbon trading scheme like