What’s emerging out of Copenhagen (the conference we cant be represented at) is a much clearer set of relations. The developed world is protecting its assets. Naomi Klein has written that: “We are seeing a redefinition of environmentalism” in which “there’s an inverse relationship between who created the problem and who can afford to save themselves from the problem, and it isn’t only in the Global South.” She continues, “Think about New Orleans. It’s also the South in the North. The people who had resources could drive out of the disaster zone; the people who depended on the state were left on their roofs, a kind of a climate apartheid, in the United States.” This analysis could inform Scotlands position in terms of relations with the wider world, our own fuel poverty, our renewables targets and meeting our world-leading CO2 reduction legislation.
Amongst Browns bluff and Obamas blunder here are some of the stark facts as they scrabble for some cash to pay off the developing world:
* £48 billion – spent on the Brit Bank Bailout (that’s our money – yours and mine)
* Projected Total Cost Iraq War: at least $3 trillion
* Total Obama Admin (FY2010) Defense Budget request: $687 billion
* Additional amount estimated for Obama’s Afghan surge: $40 billion
The sums being discussed in Copenhagen are far more modest than the trillions spent recently on the illegal Iraq war. The United Nations recently estimated that $500 billion would be needed (from all the developed world – not just the US) to help build a global clean energy economy and to help vulnerable communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. Oxfam puts it at $200 billion.
Sadly, even these sums aren’t on the table. There is an ongoing discussion of just $10 billion in so-called “fast track funding”, and of that, the US has pledged “its fair share. Jonathan Pershing, Obama’s Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, seems to be arguing that this is only $1.5 billion.