June 09, 2015

In Paris Conference we will hear many echoing Neville Chamberlain: There will be splendid planet earth for our time

Pilita Clark and Stefan Wagstyl report on “G7 in historic accord to phase out fossil fuel emissions this century”, June 9. Hurrah!

But when Stephen Harper, the Canadian premier, brings it down to reality mentioning that: “doing so would require “serious technological transformation…I don’t think we should fool ourselves, nobody’s going to start to shut down their industries or turn off the lights” it makes it all look much more that a historic hullaballoo… in preparation for all to come out of the Paris conference in December declaring, like any Neville Chamberlain: There will be splendid planet earth for our time.

As I have held for many years, any planet earth environmental agreement, if disconnected from the people will not work… and in that respect Governments, NGOs and Greens are not the people.

Also for me, to read about phasing out fossil fuel without phasing in nuclear power, which for the time being is the only available bridge between now and that “serious technological transformation”, shows this is not a real serious effort.

What do little me currently propose we do for our pied-a-terre?

For a starter… instead of allowing banks to earn especially high risk adjusted returns on equity on anything perceived as safe from a credit risk point of view, something which has no purpose and is dumb, we should give banks the incentives to earn those extra high returns on everything that seems to help sustainability (and job creation).

Put one and the same capital (equity) requirements for banks on all assets, for instance 8 percent, and then reduce these with up to 50 percent depending on planet earth sustainability ratings (or job creation ratings).

And please, please, please… stop talking about differences between rich and poor with respect to their responsibility to planet earth… we are all indigenous to our planet, and we all have the same human right to feel responsible for it. The “I am rich so I can take care of it better” has to stop.

PS. And forget about selling carbon emission indulgences for some fairly undefined sins in order to use the proceeds for some even less defined good deeds.