Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Green Is The Old White

News last week that The European Parliament cancelled their delegation to the UN's Rio+20 summit on sustainable development.  The reason being that the brutish Brazilians didn't know how to host a conference properly:
“The Brazilian government should have taken action to avoid hotels abusing their position. That's also part of the responsibility of hosting such a large conference,” said Dutch Liberal MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, who was to lead the delegation.
The first Earth Summit, hosted in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 - with Maurice Strong as Conference Secretary General, is remembered for creating a couple of notable things, including; the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the fabled Agenda 21.
It is not remembered for the cost of hotels.

Another article on the European Parliament dropping plans to attend Rio+20 explores more plausible reasons for the European Parliament's actions, including the push-back from poorer nations:
...there is growing evidence that carbon markets are not a solution to tackling the climate crisis or moving towards a low-carbon, sustainable economy. In most cases, the ETS fails to make countries take responsibility for their own emissions, instead allowing them to offset emissions by buying permits from countries from the South.
Relatively small Europe has a couple of world-view adjustments to make.  The first being recognition that being the representative body of roughly 400 million eligible voters won't mean a whole lot in a world where China's middle class exceeds 1 billion people, and India's is close behind.  These large poorer countries have been getting richer while growing emissions, while many rich countries are in the midst of financial crises while constraining emissions.  It's not a political environment old powers are readily adjusting to.  The developing world doesn't want offset dollars - they want power (energy that is).
Table from Outside the Beltway
We hear a lot more about the emissions scorecard than the poverty scorecard, where things appear better (much, much, better) in much of the world, with one notable - I hope - exception, in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Some big issues can be forgotten.

Jo Leinen, member of Social Democratic group at the European Parliament, is quoted as stating:
'The EU must be better, in reducing resources consumption, in improving solidarity with the developing world ... But European governments now have other urgent problems to solve.'
He's not talking about solutions for finding food, or raising a billion people out of poverty.
Locally, for me:
The latest panel on energy announced, in Ontario, contained 14 names.  I was unable to locate images for 2 members of the Ontario Clean Energy Task Force, Gregory Scallen and James Murphy, but the other 12 don't look, collectively, representative of Ontario's, and particularly Toronto's, diversity.

Without tinted glasses, the new green just looks white.


  1. And all the people that helped G.Smitherman create the Green Energy Act would be "Green" and fully representative of the population! We can dream can't we? To hell with those silly cost/benefit analysis! Surround yourself with "yes men" and the answer will always be what you have told them it should be. There is no hope in this bunch!

  2. Does anyone know if we, Ontario, have a version of the Aarhus Convention?

    I found this very interesting, good for them, some protection for their democracy. And common sense.

    UN: EU violates Aarhus Convention

  3. Sorry I didn't have more time to deal with that one David.
    I ran into Pat Swords on some comment boards a while ago - very knowledgable on not only generation, but also, legal issues.
    I recollect - perhaps incorrectly - that his challenge dealth with Ireland, the EU, and the timing of when commitments were made to the EU while Ireland was not entirely a member.
    I didn't find his presentation last fall (it's on the web somewhere!)... but I did find the comment thread where I first read his opinions:

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