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George Monbiot: The new European climate deal is carbon colonialism

Angela Merkel - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2007

Creative Commons License Photo credit: World Economic Forum

George Monbiot writes today on the Guardian that the new EU emissions agreement is a disaster and calls it carbon colonialism.

So much for the Europeans leading the way on climate change. Even as our governments claim they want to drag the world into an effective climate agreement in Poznan, they have just pulled Europe out of one in Brussels.

The agreement they have just reached is a disaster. The 20% carbon cut they promise by 2020 falls miles short of what's needed, and they'll be able to buy most of it from abroad anyway. All this means, in a world which has to eliminate most of its carbon pollution, is that other countries, which have sold their easiest reductions to us, will then find it harder to make emissions cuts of their own. It's carbon colonialism, in which Europe picks the low-hanging fruit in developing countries, leaving them with much tougher choices later on.

Monbiot blames the failure on Germany, which he calls the new dirty man of Europe. Monbiot says that Angela Merkel is prepared to go green only when it doesn't hurt big business.

[…]Who has pushed hardest for these exemptions? The great green German chancellor Angela Merkel. The British government's environmental policies are wildly contradictory, but they look almost coherent by comparison to Germany's. In some respects it's the most progressive country in the EU, with a federal scheme to insulate the entire housing stock and an investment in wind power which puts the UK (with far greater wind resources) to shame. In other respects it has become the dirty man of Europe. It was Merkel who demanded weaker standards for fuel efficiency in cars, Merkel who pushed hardest for a €40bn bail-out of the motor manufacturers, Merkel who now insists that the big cement, steel and chemicals companies are allowed to get away without paying.

[…]Shame on you, Mrs Merkel. With the help of Donald Tusk, Silvio Berlusconi and one or two other Neanderthals, you have now messed it up for everyone.

Read it: Germany: the new dirty man of Europe

Related: EU leaders fail to agree on a strong climate deal

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Our governments are failing us. The solution to our global climate problems are going to have to start at the bottom. Sure, it'd be nice if our leaders would do the right thing and restrict carbon release. However, it doesn't seem to be happing. Conduct a phased withdrawal on catastrophic climate change -> http://www.greengroove.org

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It sounds to me like Angela Merkel is much like most North American politicians as well. Cut emissions, but if industry will get hurt.......LET EM POLLUTE! I am so sick of hearing that. What this world needs is some true leaders.

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Simon thanks. wrong choice of words perhaps but i'm sure my colleague would counter with the 'apparent' fact; 4 different bodies have found temperatures to be decreasing. That seems like fact. I have no defense to that. that's why i came here to see what people more familiar with all the arguments for and against would say...

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The burden to defend is not on you. They have to defend their false claim that climate change is not man-made. So far NOT A SINGLE scientific report has yet to show that climate change is not man-made or that it isn't happening. And the scientific consensus has for years now been that we humans are causing the climate to change. Just some random links: La Nina temporarily cools down global temperatures during first half of 2008 Very warm 2008 makes this the hottest decade in recorded history by far Sorry deniers, Hadley Center and WMO say 2000s are easily the hottest decade in recorded history German Scientist Warns Climate Change Accelerating This Is Why We Don’t Say Global Warming... We all want climate change to be a lie, a dream or something that is not taking place as we speak. But unfortunately we humans are causing the climate to change and unfortunately all science is backing that up. It's time to end this stupid discussion and get to work on how to save ourself.

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