Copenhagen Climate Round: Unfortunate lessons from Doha Development Round are being repeated

Today’s newspapers inform one that the world leaders are now gearing up for the next round of climate change negotiations to be held in Mexico in 2010. The talks at Copenhagen have failed to come to any global consensus with walkouts, tiffs, blaming etc

All these developments take me back to 2001, when the ambitious Doha Development Round was proposed for furthering international trade. The DDR meet at Doha was also followed by a meeting in Cancun, Mexico in 2003. The meeting was a failure and no consensus emerged. Since then we have continued to see one meeting after the other on DDR all leading to the same result – failing to arrive at a consensus. WTO officials keep harping on the need to finish DDR but finds no ears. Each meeting is met by stiff resistance from both developed (who refuse to open up their agri markets) and developing countries (who refuse to open up their industry and services sectors). Each meeting is hyped and ends in a similar fashion. So much resources are wasted. WIth time people seem to have given up on WTO meetings as well and hardly any discussion takes place.

And now I see some crazy similarity with climate changes. There is a lot of hype with absolutely no clarity. Climate change is also more complex than international trade (which is no less complex). You add global discussions to the complexity and you have a perfect recipe for all kinds of hype and chaos. The media gets a lot of fodder for creating all the more hype and then in the end talks fail. People for whom these discussions are, have just no idea of what happened and what is in store for them.

I don’t know what is the solution but this way all important global issues are simply headed to nowhere. The global leaders need to understand that this finally hurts the entire public so some progress is needed. The short-term browny points are too tempting and most just end up doing that trying to impress their electorate. If they can come to some global coordination to bail out banks and pass out fiscal and monetary stimulus why can’t they coordinate on these important issues as well. The question that automatically comes to mind is what made them coordinate fiscal and monetary policies to ease crisis situation?

We keep talking about global economy, global citizen, global this and global that. It is time our leaders also think and act on similar lines.

2 Responses to “Copenhagen Climate Round: Unfortunate lessons from Doha Development Round are being repeated”

  1. C. Menskil Says:

    Amol, I’ve found the Copenhagen meeting to be very interesting. The politics of such a meeting are tremendous and mind-boggling at times. As most issues that are discussed with worldwide leaders, there are meticulous economic and political intricacies that are laced in these types of meetings. Earlier today on NPR I listened to professionals on both sides of climate change, many economists say that it’s not a large enough issue to address right now, but maybe in 100 years. What are your thoughts regarding the economics of climate change, should it be addressed right now or years and years from now?

  2. Pri Says:

    Climate change is a global responsibility & not just the responsibility of Emerging markets. Developed countries like the US have exploited natural resources for economic growth & are now trying to pass the buck to EMs so that they sell renewable technologies to these countries. Contrast that to Germany which is number 1 in the implementation of solar energy inspite of being a developed country.

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