Friday, August 7, 2009

It is all about relationships

There were not many countries that liked George W. Bush. India, however, was one of them. One reason they favored Bush was because he did not pressure them to abide to any carbon emission restrictions. That was easy for Bush to do considering that he did not enforce any restrictions on his on country. At least he was not a hypocrite here.

Anyway, when U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, raised the subject about India abiding to some carbon emission cap to India's minister of environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh, his response was not what she and many environmentalists hoped. He stated, "There is simply no case for the pressure that we — who have among the lowest emissions per capita — face to actually reduce emissions."

He stated further to her, "And as if this pressure was not enough, we also face the threat of carbon tariffs on our exports to countries such as yours."

The U.S. in its recent carbon reduction bill passed in the House has some form of tariff to be assessed against goods of countries that do not abide by certain carbon cap requirements.

The problem is that we have spent the last eight years ignoring this issue and now we are taking internal action, but also pressing other countries. Unfortunately, the President cannot always brush off past sins of the prior President by stating that what his country did in the past was not his fault. India looks at America as one country, regardless of who is running it. The actions of one President tend to carryover into to other President. The only thing America can do in regard to pressing developing countries to seek ways to reduce carbon emissions is to demonstrate to the rest of its world its serious commitment to this matter by drastically reducing its own carbon emissions. Some argue that the current bill passed in the House is not enought. In addition, the US needs to share technology with these countries in assisting them to reduce these emissions, which may be more controversial because of intellectual property issues.

This will not by the first or the last time that America will here the above statements from the developing countries. This is going to take awhile. Unfortunately, some believe we do not have enough time to wait patiently for the developing countries to turn around.

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