October 04, 2009
"Progress toward high industrialized world emissions cuts remains disappointing during these talks. We're not seeing real advances there," Yvo de Boer, the head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, told reporters.
That just about sums up all the progress or disappointment at the on going pre Copenhagen discussions taking place at Bangkok, Thailand. The discussions are scheduled to end on October 9, 2009 and are being attended by delegates from 180 different countries who are attempting to nail down a global agreement to cut carbon emissions that will be finalized at Copenhagen. Unfortunately , the differences between the developed world and the developing world are just as wide as they have ever been. Even the targets for the developed world seem to be way out of reach.
Such an outcome should not be surprising to all of those who are familiar with the logic behind the “Tragedy of the Commons”. Each country wants to decrease the cost of its own targets hoping that somebody else will pick up the slack. When each country attempts to lower its own cost by shifting it to another country then the earth suffers because the global targets will be missed and only ruin will result.
The US position has posed the greatest challenge to the participants so far. "Not knowing what the United States is going to be able to bring to Copenhagen really makes it very difficult for other countries in that Kyoto discussion to increase the level of ambition of their numbers," said John Ashe, a senior diplomat who chairs a key U.N. group negotiating expanded Kyoto commitments. So far it does not look very promising for the developed world to agree on the up to 40% carbon emissions cut by 2020 from the 1990 levels that scientists deem to be essential.
To make things even more complicated the developing nations refuse to accept anything less than a 40% cut by the developed world in addition to financial transfers that do not appear to be forthcoming. As you can see both sides are playing a game of chicken when the health of the entire planet is at stake.