The [Dutch] Minister of the Environment, Jacqueline Cramer, spoke words of praise about the recent EU Climate Agreement, in which goals were established under which by 2020 the EU would reduce its CO2 emissions by 20%, would produce 20% of its energy from non-carbon sources and reduce energy consumption by 20%. She rated the agreement as “historic”.
The agreement was indeed historic, but in a different way than suggested by the Minister. In the “small print” which is part of the compromise, the EU said farewell to its isolated position in the world of climate management. Indeed, important sectors of European industry will be exempted from the compulsory purchase of CO2-emission permits, in order not to be disadvantaged against foreign competitors who will not participate in the Kyoto Protocol.
Even more important is the inclusion of a revision clause in the agreement, as a reaction to German, Italian and Polish objections. This clause subjects the European goals to the results of the worldwide UN Climate Conference which will take place in Copenhagen in December 2009. If no agreement were to be achieved there – which is probable – the provisional EU-compromis will also be opened up again.
In climate discussions, holding back crucial information is common practice. Average world temperature has decreased over the past ten years and astronomers expect further cooling. Those who depend exclusively on the official climate information are not aware of such facts. There is an urgent need for the climate-establishment to provide honest information on the climate “problem” to the public and the politicians.
It is questionable whether this Minister is as yet capable of making this turn-around. She is so caught up in her own virtual reality that it will be most difficult to extract herself from it.
Hans Labohm, economist and publicist, Leimuiden, The Netherlands
Translated by Albert Jacobs