Photo: Bo Mathisen
This was the conclusion reach by some 100 politicians, academicians, civil society organisation leaders and high profile businesses from around the world who gathered in the Sarpsborg, Norway on Thursday and Friday for a heavy weight meeting on how to combat climate changed.
The conference, which was convened by Bellona, Norwegian power company Hafslund and the Club de Madrid of former leaders of democratic nations, was titled "Climate Conference 08: Technology and Finance in Climate Cooperation”.
Speaking of the deep cuts proposed for the world’s wealthy nations, Bellona Foundation President Fredric Hauge said the CC8 group’s conclusion sent a “strong signal” that the west must get serious fast.
“This is a strong signal that we agreed to demand 80 percent emissions cut in rich countries by 2050,” said Hauge, who said he was extremely satisfied with the result of the climate conference.
In an important culminating step, conference participants produced an open letter to heads of state, parliamentarians, negotiators and other stakeholders in the climate debate that summarized the conference’s recommendations.
“Recommendations will be a useful contribution to UN’s climate negotiations at the top meeting in Copenhagen next year,” said the UN’s special envoy on climate issues, Ricardo Lagos, who, as Chile’s former president, also heads up the Club de Madrid.
Lagos was making reference to the next United Nations Climate Change Conference, which began last December in Bali and will be continued in Copenhagen.
Separate technology agreement
The central point of the open letter from conference participants is the desire that a new climate agreement include a separate agreement on technology.
This agreement would stipulate the need to fund developing countries from the outside so that they are not left behind in implementing considerably expensive emissions reduction technology. This means that wealthier nations will be able to help poor countries lift their living standards without contributing to the destruction of the climate.
CO2 emissions should come with a price tag
Conference participants were unanimous that CO2 should have its price. Today, only Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia have regulations that set a price on CO2 emissions, either through taxes and fees, or quota sales.
In their open letter, the CC8 participants demanded that a global CO2 price be set, and proposed that this should be a part of the global climate agreement.
Conference participants also came to a minimum goal for state financing of climate change efforts. In their open letter, conference participants stated that wealthy nations should allocate at least 0.1 percent of their state budgets toward implementing climate change technologies and efforts.
CC8 participants worked intensively to address various climate questions related to funding and technology in separate working groups.
They discussed how new technologies have developed since the Kyoto Protocol reached its final form in 1997. Today, one of the single most important weapons in the climate battle is Carbon Capture and Storage – a technology that came on the scene in force in the early part of this decade.
The CC8’s participants made note that they had achieved an enormous goal by bringing together so many different representatives of such av variety of fields, from business to politics to civil society organizations to former world leaders.
“This is precisely the cooperation among the environmental movement, political authorities and the business community that is needed,” said Hafslund’s Christian Berg. “That is why this conference was such a success.”