Top researcher wants to use globalisation to create climate optimism
“The easiest is to be a pessimist."
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Globalisation can help solve the climate problem, according to Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) director Leiv Lunde.
“Pessimism about the climate is spreading,” Mr Lunde declared at a seminar at CICERO (Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo), Friday.
“The easiest is to be a pessimist,” he added, listing up the following:
- There are few bright spells in the international climate negotiations.
- Emissions have risen sharply in recent years and look set to continue.
- The financial crisis is strangling renewable energy support.
- There are strong headwinds regarding carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.
- There are conflicts between the interests of the local environment and climate change (such as regarding new power lines).
- 2007’s climate wave seems to be waning.
- Democracy is struggling to cope with long-term challenges.
“Moreover, climate change enters directly into the battle between countries and regions for fair distribution of power and burdens,” adds Mr Lunde.
He sees no political will to slow the pace of oil and gas recover, with the exception of the EU and individual countries that are at the forefront, such as Germany, Denmark and the UK.
“Is this the whole picture?” asked Mr Lunde following his gloomy introduction, answering, “there is still plenty of reasons for optimism. The glass is more than half-full. Globalisation does not just present challenges for the climate, but also gives many positive impulses.”
Shifts in both the balance of power and the relationship between the great powers in the world also open new doors.
He also thinks globalisation creates better conditions for technological breakthroughs and diffusion of new technology.