Posted by: bklunk | March 6, 2007

Time the Avenger

Governments, alas, are not rational actors. They work through political and organizational processes to do what they do.

It’s About Time « Global Climate Change Blog

March 6th, 2007

EU leaders should this week make the most ambitious commitment ever to tackle climate change, the EU Commission’s president said on Tuesday, but officials admitted that the devil is in the detail.

The 27 member states are keen to forge a united front when they meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday and to place the European Union in the front line of the fight against climate change.

With temperatures, oil prices and the EU’s dependency on overseas oil supplies increasing, “the status quo is not an option,” president of the bloc’s executive body Jose Manuel Barroso told a news conference in Brussels.

The countries’ leaders are expected to agree on cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20 percent by 2020, and up to 30 percent if emerging economies, particularly China and India, join them, German EU presidency sources said in Berlin.

The only part I find surprising is that it took until now. Domestic concern about environmental issues has been much higher in European countries than anywhere else over the last 50 years. It’s promising to see the ‘issue framing’ move from ’symptom-focused’ to ’cause-focused’.

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  1. I think it’s wonderful that the EU is finally stepping up to address this important issue. Climate change is not a problem that will fix itself and action needs to be taken now to keep the problem from getting worse. It is strange that it took them so long to get on board, but now here they are, and the time for broad international cooperation is now. With the EU’s wide power base, significant global progress can be made with their cooperation. I am hopeful that the United States will begin to talk with the EU and other industrial nations and some goals will be set soon on cutting down on emissions. This is a world problem, and the world needs to work together to fix it.

  2. I think that it is great that the EU is tackling and ready to resolve the issue of climate change. But I think that credit should be given when credit is due. The European Leader has been the world leader in battling global climate change and warming. They are and have been aware of the problem that global climate change presents to not only Europe but to the whole world. They have been a leader by cutting their total emission of greenhouse gases by a quarter in seven years. When you look at China, India, or even the United States, the EU as a whole is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the world in modifying their industries to battle global climate change. As a matter of fact, in order to meet commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, the EU has begun phasing out the utilization of flourinated greenhouse gases found in everyday objects including air conditioning units and fridges. If the rest of the world were to follow their example, we as a global society would definitly be a cleaner, more enviromental sensitive planet.

  3. I was actually surprised to read this. I guess I was overly optimistic and idealistic, thinking that the EU had already taken significant measures to lessen CO2 outputs. After I got over my initial disappointment about the lack of action so far, I was intrigued by the end of the post, which hopes to include China and India in emission reductions. It seems that thinking emerging economies like India and China will join in on these commitments is totally idealistic. India and China have shown no interest thus far in reducing carbon emissions; most emerging economies have not. It also seems ambitious to expect India and China to sign on when the US, definitely not an “emerging economy,” is not making efforts like the EU. However, although it is unlikely that China or India will make significant reductions in the near future, it does seem that it will be necessary to get them on board at some point. India and China, especially, use enormous amounts of natural resources, and that number will probably continue to rise in the next several years.

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