There will be no global treaty on Climate Change without a solution for the poor.
The poor in every country are generally low emitters, and models of Low Carbon lives; yet because they are poor, it’s easy for their economic concerns to be swept aside in the global efforts to revive the big Energy systems.
One thing is clear, imposing a “dollar economy”, and thrusting international markets traded in American Dollars on the world’s poor is not the same as creating an environment for true social and sustainable development.
There’s one thing we know : the Earth does not compromise. Politicians might think that they can compromise with the Science; and worse still, the Climate Change Deniers might think that they can compromise the public mind, but in the end the Data will have the final say.
One day, the fringe, radical opinion will be called upon by those at the centre of the debate. Not a debate about whether the climate is changing or not, but the negotiations about who will do what.
Some currently argue that the West was won (and the North) by the immoral earnings from the deep South (and the far East) : the industrialised countries have accrued their wealth on the basis of historical and continuing exploitation of the systems of trade and finance, to garner to their store all the material resource riches of the whole world.
This historical inequality, this chute of nature, taking food, minerals, fuels sliding Northwards and Westwards : for this the rich should pay : Carbon rights should not be “grandfathered” : the rich should not assume they have the free right to continue polluting as they have in the past. The rich should pay up on their historical debt.
I remember the second time I saw this graph. It was shown to me by that enthusiastic young guy Guy Shrubsole, who waved a printed copy under my nose and asked me if I’d seen it and knew what it meant. I had and I did :-