The Bankok Post offers a good summary of the issues at stake in this week’s climate change summit.
At the core of the talks in Bangkok, are fears among developed countries that their commitments to cut their own carbon emissions will not be matched by similar commitments by the developing world to introduce new technologies that will lead to fewer emissions in the future but will have higher production costs.
That is a fear also expressed by European industries.
“What you hear at the moment is European companies saying that minus 20 per cent that EU governments have committed to is all well and good if we get a climate change policy that does not engage developing countries and the results of this is expensive policies in the north lead to more economic activities in the south, with no emission reduction benefit, but a lot of job movement, what’s the good of that?” noted [UN top climate change negotiator Yvo] de Boer.
How to handle that issue, by a fair trade off between developed countries agreeing to reduce their emissions and provide technology and finance to help the developing countries to improve their own green industries, is what the debate is largely about in Bangkok.
The Bangkok talks must provide a work programme by the end of the week leading towards an agreement in Copenhagen in 2009.