From the perspective of ‘Climate Policy for Europe’, the year 2013 can only be referred to as disastrous: the extreme flood events in early summer and the hurricane fronts in December are ingrained in our memories. Climate change set in a long time ago and has now come to hit also the western industrialised countries.
But we also saw pictures of people in China, forced by the dense smog to wear respirator masks. Notwithstanding these incontestable facts, negotiations on the next Global Climate Change Convention are advancing very sluggishly. Many industrialised countries, which, to this day, have remained the principal causal agents of climate change, believe that unilateral climate goals could imply a competitive disadvantage. This is why they insist on equal burden-sharing among all countries as the prerequisite for signing an agreement. The non-industrialised countries – as we choose to call them, because we deliberately shun the term “development” in the belief that the future of the globe will not depend on adopting the ‘western’ values subscribed to by the industrialised countries – first of all demand financial support in fighting the dramatic impact of climate change they are exposed to in the form of progressing desertification or the consequences of rising sea levels.