Dear Mona Sahlin
For us as PES activists it is clear that we’ll have to link and to fulfil the requirements for as well decent work and fair trade, as for the need for energy savings, energy efficiency and radical transition to renewable energy sources. The EU has been quite ambitious in setting targets regarding all of these issues. The Bali climate negotiations are approaching, and already in 2009 we should meet in the climate summit in Copenhagen to agree on a “Kyoto 2”.
Many of the barriers slowing down climate negotiations are well known: The US and Australia don’t want to sign any commitments but advocate “voluntary mechanisms” instead. G77 and China want to “develop first” and clean up only afterwards. For obvious reasons, the oil producing countries do not like to discuss reducing the use of fossil fuels, and note that they won’t invest in cleaner technologies unless there is certainty on growing demand. Some see the climate issue as a great opportunity to promote more nuclear power, and so on. Our own trade unions are sceptical, to say the least. – At the same time, the only ones profiting of our growing thirst for more energy seem to be the oligarchs in emerging economies or oil-producing developing countries, and the military industry providing equipment for those fighting to secure access to oil resources.
Mona Sahlin, in this extremely controversial climate/energy framework, do you see any “windows of hope”? Any new initiatives, new arguments to push our agenda? In particular, can we develop new mechanisms to bring the great emerging economies – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – on board? Such as CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) and carbon trade on a truly large scale and covering more sectors? – And the second difficult question for us European Social Democrats: What does it take to turn our own Trade Unions into drivers of the “fight against CO2” instead of them “joining the enemy”?
With warm regards from HelsinkiKaarin Taipale