Verbal fight against global warming

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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
HOKKAIDO. (RIA Novosti commentator Andrei Fesyun) - A nine-page-long statement on Environment and Climate Change is one of the final documents adopted by the G8 Summit in Toyako.

This document will help Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda "save face." For almost a year since assuming the highest government post, he has been talking about the need to fight global warming and cut CO2-producing greenhouse emissions.

The G8 major industrial democracies set a goal for halving greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming by 2050. As a result, the U.S.-led group issued a final statement on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit in northern Japan, which said, in particular: "We support a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission reductions that assures growth, prosperity, and other aspects of sustainable development." The rest of the statement explained how difficult it is to reach this goal and what could be done to bring it closer.

This statement is surprisingly vague. The participants "support a shared vision" instead of fixing a specific problem. In other words, nobody is responsible for anything, and nothing will be done.

It is natural to ask whether it was worth organizing a summit for the leaders of major powers, spending huge sums on their security, and attracting crowds of journalists and curious onlookers to the north of Japan in order to come away with nothing.

Global greenhouse emissions are caused by the burning of coal for electricity generation and the use of gasoline and diesel fuel for transportation. Other contributions may be neglected. U.S. President George W. Bush is absolutely right in saying that G8 leaders can decide what they want, but "we can't have an effective agreement unless China and India are a part of it."

The meticulous Japanese have elaborated an approach whereby the necessary cuts in greenhouse emissions are determined for each sphere of world industry, after which a specific reduction quota is calculated for each country; those countries which do not have the funds for this for any reason will be subsidized.

It would work, if there were a Japanese-led concern, a controlled organization with a streamlined hierarchy of subordination and responsibility. But the main flaw of the adopted document is that nobody is responsible for anything; everyone is "sharing the concern."

India, China, and Brazil are quite rightly objecting to the statement. They believe that the so-called industrialized countries should start implementing their proposals themselves -- cutting emissions, and introducing environmentally safe energy sources. In the meantime, the new economic giants will watch their progress, and maybe join them later.

Nobody wants to pollute the air, but nobody wants to sacrifice anything to keep it clean. It seems that the time is not yet ripe for that. Novelties like cooling rooms with snow, electro-mobiles, or dancing robots look like aliens from the distant future.

As Hodja Nasreddin used to say, by that time "Either the Emir or the donkey will die." In any event, decisions will be made and responsibility assumed by completely different people, and for this reason the current leaders can safely make plans for 2050.

This statement is no more than a case of wishful thinking. While the world has approaches a certain level of political and economic globalization, it is still very far from taking global responsibility for its actions.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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