Reflections are only that, reflections, nothing more nothing less. Often these reflections are related to books I read, but occasionally also other things. These are often written very late, very fast,  using notes from my mobile phone, so the grammar and spelling is horrible.

Copenhagen must learn from history

Too often there is a tendency to forget history when the speed and complexity of the negotiations increase. But many of us have been in the same situation before, The Climate meeting in Kyoto 1997, the WTO meeting in Seattle 1999, World Summit on Sustainable development 2002, etc. Now Copenhagen. We can go back even further and it is time for the rich countries to see how they have failed to live up to their promises. Instead of keeping the key issue in focus (the need for transformative reductions that result in minimum 40% reductions by 2020 and carbon free by 2050) they get lost in details.

This is one of the key messages I have been trying to highlight during the Copenhagen summit. Unfortunately it looks like history will repeat itself. Rich countries will desperately trying to portray vague targets and the fact that US is far behind as a victory. Hopefully developing countries will be constructive and commit to different measures that open up for transformative reductions, BUT, and this is important, the developing countries must at all costs make sure that it is clear in the final agreement that the rich countries that must take the lead (US must accept that). Right now it looks like US, but also EU, want to create a situation where they will use, what they will define as, a lack of action among developing countries for not taking real domestic action.

Hopefully cities and business can embark on an innovation based development path where a low carbon future is a driver for innovation and profit.

Below are some input that I provided to China Daily today

"Swedish environmentalist Dennis Pamlin has been digging through history: the Stockholm Conference of 1972, the Rio Summit of 1992, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

In each summit, he found that rich, developed countries promised to support poor countries though money, better trade rules and transfer of technology.

"But again and again, rich countries have failed to live up to these promises," Pamlin told China Daily. "There are many reasons for the failures and it doesn't mean anything to blame anyone, especially since very few at the conference in Copenhagen were part of these historic summits."
However, when leaders such as United States President Barack Obama step into the Bella conference centre in Copenhagen, they should keep in mind the gap between promises and delivery, he said.

"This is my message to the leaders from rich countries," said Pamlin.

He added that developed countries, which have emitted so much during their developments, should make the first move.

"We have seen very little of this and we need to see not only targets, but also measures that ensure delivery," Pamlin said. "Developing countries have already begun measures to reduce emissions and these measures will increase."

He noted that where the per capita emissions are the highest, living standards are also the highest"