Strategic Error: Green West is losing friends and allies around the world

  • Date: 12/12/09

Voice of America: Africa’s lead negotiator at the Copenhagen climate summit says China has promised to support African demands for equitable financing to cope with global warming.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi warned that Africa will be watching to see whether funds being pledged by European countries are real, or recycled.

Prime Minister Meles evoked little reaction a few months ago when he threatened to walk out of the Copenhagen summit unless Africa’s demands for compensation were met.

But he upped the ante Friday, saying China, a major player at the climate talks, had agreed to support Africa’s position.

“If Copenhagen is going to be about an agreement that simply rides roughshod over Africa, then we will try to scuttle it, and I think we have reasonable assurance we can scuttle it if our concerns are not addressed,” he said.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Meles told of his frustration in preliminary talks on learning that Africa’s compensation demands were not being taken seriously. He said the frustration led him to seek Chinese and Indian backing for his walkout threat.

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See also: Benny Peiser: Climate Blowback: The CO2 crusade only generates hostility against the West, Financial Post, 8 April 2008

[…] As a result of promoting environmental alarmism, Western governments find themselves trapped in a perilous, yet largely self-constructed catch. As long as climate change is elevated as the principal liability of industrial countries, as long as Western CO2 emissions are blamed for exacerbating natural disasters, death and destruction around the globe, green pressure groups and officials from the developing world will continue to insist that the West is liable to recompense its exorbitant carbon debt by way of wealth transfer and financial compensation.

Yet this is highly unlikely to happen. Attempts to punish developing countries by introducing carbon tariffs, on the other hand, would only create more fury and resentment. Ultimately, there is now a growing risk that the whole global-warming scare is creating more anti-Western hostility and further loss of influence on the international stage.

Unless the industrial nations are prepared to sacrifice a substantial fraction of their wealth and economic stability, it is extremely unlikely that a new climate treaty will be agreed upon in the foreseeable future. While rich countries will put the blame squarely at the door of their Asian competitors, much of the rest of the world is likely to point the finger at Western greediness and intransigence. In this way, the global warming scare is creating a lose-lose situation for the West which is causing lasting damage to its standing, influence and economic strength.

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