You’d never know it but there have been two sets of crucial negotiations going on this week. The ones to save the Euro that Cameron walked out of yesterday, and the ones to replace the Kyoto Treaty in Durban, South Africa. The ones going on in South Africa only made it onto the news bulletins when they had to be extended because a solution couldn’t be found. But if an agreement to introduce legally binding targets on carbon emissions isn’t reached in Durban then we may have lost a fight for our lives… this seems to me a bit more crucial that the game of political football that the government’s playing with the Euro.
Cameron walked out* of negotiations for two reasons:
- to appease Tory back benchers
- to protect the City and financial sector
But isn’t it deregulation of the financial sector that got us into this mess in the first place? Shouldn’t we be concentrating on dealing with our trade deficit by expanding our exports, instead of throwing our eggs back into the basket that cracked them in the first place? The bankers will be rubbing their hands together with glee at the PM’s latest move. Manufacturers however, will not have slept so easy last night: 40% of our exports are bought by EU countries. We’ve given up our place at the negotiating table for a political stunt that could cost us very dear in the long run.
Wouldn’t a fantastic way to boost the economy and mitigate climate calamity be to become world leaders in green energy? Since the recession the colour green has become a dangerous one, prodded occasionally by Chris Huhne – most politicians know best to steer well clear. But the fact remains that it’s investment in research and development of new products and technologies that’s the route out of economic stagnation. And it would be no bad thing if those new products helped us with the larger problem on our hands, the life and death one, climate change.
* By any stretch of the definition this was not a ‘veto’.