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If there is one thing clear after the tumultuous Bali summit, it is that the world is putting big hopes in a regime change in the United States. Without leadership of the US on the climate front, the emerging economies will not jump onboard and therefore the American Presidential elections of next year might become… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

I am absolutely not impressed by the CO2 policy for cars proposal presented by the European Commission and I do not think it shows European climate change leadership at all. First, for all the heavy lobbying and media attention surrounding this issue, today’s Commission proposal to oblige car manufacturers to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Last week when I was talking to Belgian academic students about the EU’s sustainable development strategy (SDS), I got serious flack from a DG environment official when I stated that the EU does not have a real policy on sustainable development. What the EU has, is the business-as-usual economic growth strategy with a bit of… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Bali: roadmap to Armageddon?

OK, the Bali climate top decided on a roadmap for future negotiations, but without any direction (no 25-40% targets) and, what is more, without any real breakthrough in the mindset of most governments. First of all, there is still no awareness that in the face of the global climate calamity, all the fighting over the… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

There are so many myths and false assumptions in the climate/energy debate that I always like to highlight authors and articles who/which cut through all the ideology by looking at the raw scientific figures. One author who consistently uses this “reality check” is George Monbiot. In an article published last week, Monbiot has made the… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

According to the Independent, the UK government will today announce what amounts to a real renewables revolution. In a remarkable U-turn, Gordon Brown’s government wants all households in Britain to be powered by off-shore windfarms in 2020. It could mean building 7000 wind turbines along the coast of the UK. Read further articles about this… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

As international trade ministers are meeting over the weekend at the Bali climate summit, WTO chief Pascal Lamy and Indonesia trade minister Mari Pangetsu published an interesting article in the International Herald Tribune, highlighting the challenges of climate change for international trade rules. Here is the article’s main message: “The international trading system cannot dictate… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Here, that is, in our own “developed” world and not only in those countries which are traditionally being identified as “developing” countries (the now politically incorrect “third world” in the past). As the economic growth successes and the consumption abundance of our developed countries have been bought on the back of rapid over-exploitation of the… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

No, I have not become a climate disbeliever but as most readers of this blog will know I am very skeptical about the UN’s diplomatic climate circus. There are several structural reasons for this skepticism: the difficulties of negotiating and ratifying with over 180 countries, the absurd horse-trading (tit-for-tat compromises), the historical lessons learned from… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer