A breakthrough in international climate policy is still possible; argue Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie, Director of the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI) and Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner , Director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) at eurozine.com on 4 December 2009:
Hopes for an internationally binding climate agreement were rudely dampened at the most recent meeting of the APEC countries, and then at the Sino-US summit, where the powers assembled there even fell back behind commitments they themselves had made. Does that mean we have missed the last exit to a genuine turnaround in climate policy? In the eyes of a majority of climate researchers, all we have left is a window of opportunity of just a few years to avert dangerous climate change, indeed a destabilisation of the Earth system. A good number of people (not only in the rich North) are experimenting, on their own initiative, with more climate-compatible lifestyles. On the other hand, the political horizon has continued to be defined by election days, powerful old-industry veto groups from the energy and automobile industries, and the time-consuming routines of international politics, with the result that effective climate protection measures are put off for another day.
The essence of the climate dilemma is that the regional blocs – which continue, despite changing realities, to be categorised as industrialised and developing countries – and the national negotiating delegations have become bogged down in the quibbling typical of diplomatic group dynamics. …
Read the full article on the DIE website.