More political courage deemed necessary

In gen­er­al, the Lux­em­bour­gish pop­u­la­tion is very sen­si­ble con­cern­ing the cli­mate change top­ic. Sev­er­al envi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion asso­ci­a­tions, such as Mou­ve­ment écologique, Green­peace Lux­em­bourg, and oth­er pro-ecol­o­gy organ­i­sa­tions, have unit­ed their efforts with 30 oth­er NGOs, such as Car­i­tas, Action-sol­i­dar­ité-Tiers-monde, among oth­ers, to act togeth­er against cli­mate change11Green­peace-Lux­em­bourg: Votum Kli­ma Lux­em­bourg, 2010, avail­able at: http://www.greenpeace.org/luxembourg/votumklima/ (last access 14 July 2010). and cre­ate a Lux­em­bour­gish pro-cli­mate lob­by called “Votum Kli­ma.” Lead­ers of this pro-cli­mate alliance talked to Prime Min­is­ter Junck­er and the Min­is­ters for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment and Infra­struc­ture Wisel­er and Schank. Votum Kli­ma can­not accept the Copen­hagen con­fer­ence results.22Richard Graf: Hausauf­gaben­hil­fe, Woxx, 29 Jan­u­ary 2010. The reduc­tion of CO2 emis­sions plan endorsed by the EU and the USA is total­ly insuf­fi­cient. Votum Kli­ma crit­i­cised Junck­er and the oth­er Euro­pean polit­i­cal lead­ers for their lack of per­se­ver­ance and polit­i­cal courage. Prime Min­is­ter Junck­er acknowl­edges the crit­i­cism by the envi­ron­ment lob­by and declared that he would like the EU to stick to its orig­i­nal 30 per­cent CO2 reduc­tion goal. Nev­er­the­less, he is well aware that this aim will be very dif­fi­cult to reach, as a lot of part­ners only want to com­mit them­selves if all the oth­ers do the same.

Green and eco­log­i­cal activists ask the gov­ern­ment to make sure that the Euro­pean Union is seen as a mod­el and must not wait until oth­er con­ti­nents and eco­nom­ic pow­ers fol­low up with their deci­sions on CO2 reduc­tion. Busi­ness and indus­tri­al­ist fed­er­a­tions agree that the EU and the nation­al gov­ern­ments should act in cli­mate change affairs but they nev­er­the­less warn the Lux­em­bour­gish gov­ern­ment in par­tic­u­lar and the EU in gen­er­al not to take uni­lat­er­al mea­sures which could harm the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the nation­al and Euro­pean econ­o­my.33Echo des entre­pris­es: Coût et oppor­tu­nités, 2/2010.

Most main­stream polit­i­cal lead­ers pub­licly sup­port a glob­al agree­ment with­in the Unit­ed Nations Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (UNFCCC) as the best strat­e­gy to fight cli­mate change. The Green Par­ty and oth­er eco­log­i­cal activists would pre­fer an even tougher approach and denounce the agree­ment as being too soft or even mean­ing­less to real­ly pre­vent cli­mate change.

Fran­cis Massen, founder of a mete­o­ro­log­i­cal con­trol cen­tre in north­ern Lux­em­bourg, favours an alter­na­tive strat­e­gy for the Euro­pean Union. He believes that the agree­ment by the UNFCCC was based on hor­ror sce­nar­ios pro­mot­ed by cer­tain sci­en­tif­ic, polit­i­cal and envi­ron­men­tal­ist action groups, which have spe­cial inter­ests in the imple­men­ta­tion of this agree­ment. Fran­cis Massen and his fol­low­ers think that the real prob­lem wait­ing to be solved con­cerns the dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion of ener­gy resources rather than the def­i­n­i­tion of a new cli­mate change pol­i­cy. Massen wants to pro­mote an intel­li­gent mix of all pos­si­ble ener­gy resources, includ­ing nuclear pow­er.44Europa.forum.lu: Énergie – Envi­ron­nement Le change­ment cli­ma­tique, un prob­lème réel ou hys­térie des cer­cles sci­en­tifiques et poli­tiques, avail­able at: http://www.europaforum.public.lu/fr/actualites/2008/09/debat-turmes-massen-oberweis/index.html (last access: 19 July 2010); Albert Haas: Der erlo­gene Kli­ma-Kon­sens, Tage­blatt, 4 Jan­u­ary 2010.

The Lux­em­bour­gish social­ist Mem­ber of Euro­pean Par­lia­ment Robert Goebbels gives suc­cour to Massen and denounces “Cli­ma­tism” as a new reli­gion and a new kind of “green cap­i­tal­ism” based on a prof­itable CO2 cer­tifi­cates’ trade.55Robert Goebbels: Zum Kli­ma­tismus, Tage­blatt, 24 Feb­ru­ary 2010.

Lux­em­bourg can claim the hon­our to fig­ure on the top of the list of coun­tries which spend the most mon­ey on non-mil­i­tary coop­er­a­tion and devel­op­ment projects per capi­ta of their gross nation­al income.66Organ­i­sa­tion for Eco­nom­ic Coop­er­a­tion and Devel­op­ment (OECD): Les per­for­mances iné­gales de l’aide au développe­ment pour 2010 sus­ci­tent des inquié­tudes, 17 Feb­ru­ary 2010, avail­able at: www.oecd.org/document/37/0,3343,fr_2649_34447_44620069_1_1_1_37413,00.html (last access: 22 June 2010). Some coun­tries will even go beyond this goal: Swe­den has a ratio of net Offi­cial Devel­op­ment Assis­tance (ODA) to Gross Nation­al Income (GNI) 1.03 the high­est in the world just before Lux­em­bourg which has a ratio ODA/GNI of 1.00.

The Lux­em­bourg coop­er­a­tion policy’s para­mount goal is the erad­i­ca­tion of pover­ty through sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. What are the effects of cli­mate change on devel­op­ing coun­tries’ pop­u­la­tions? UN mil­len­ni­um objec­tives deter­mine the strat­e­gy of the Lux­em­bourg devel­op­ment pol­i­cy. Luxembourg’s coop­er­a­tion objec­tives are there­fore twofold: sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and reduc­tion of the impov­er­ish­ment of bio­log­i­cal bio­di­ver­si­ty. Oth­er aims are pro­duc­tion of clean water, improv­ing liv­ing con­di­tions and so on.77Min­istère des Affaires Étrangères, Direc­tion de la coopéra­tion au développe­ment: Envi­ron­nement et change­ment cli­ma­tique – stratégie et ori­en­ta­tions 2009–2010.

    Footnotes

  • 1Green­peace-Lux­em­bourg: Votum Kli­ma Lux­em­bourg, 2010, avail­able at: http://www.greenpeace.org/luxembourg/votumklima/ (last access 14 July 2010).
  • 2Richard Graf: Hausauf­gaben­hil­fe, Woxx, 29 Jan­u­ary 2010.
  • 3Echo des entre­pris­es: Coût et oppor­tu­nités, 2/2010.
  • 4Europa.forum.lu: Énergie – Envi­ron­nement Le change­ment cli­ma­tique, un prob­lème réel ou hys­térie des cer­cles sci­en­tifiques et poli­tiques, avail­able at: http://www.europaforum.public.lu/fr/actualites/2008/09/debat-turmes-massen-oberweis/index.html (last access: 19 July 2010); Albert Haas: Der erlo­gene Kli­ma-Kon­sens, Tage­blatt, 4 Jan­u­ary 2010.
  • 5Robert Goebbels: Zum Kli­ma­tismus, Tage­blatt, 24 Feb­ru­ary 2010.
  • 6Organ­i­sa­tion for Eco­nom­ic Coop­er­a­tion and Devel­op­ment (OECD): Les per­for­mances iné­gales de l’aide au développe­ment pour 2010 sus­ci­tent des inquié­tudes, 17 Feb­ru­ary 2010, avail­able at: www.oecd.org/document/37/0,3343,fr_2649_34447_44620069_1_1_1_37413,00.html (last access: 22 June 2010). Some coun­tries will even go beyond this goal: Swe­den has a ratio of net Offi­cial Devel­op­ment Assis­tance (ODA) to Gross Nation­al Income (GNI) 1.03 the high­est in the world just before Lux­em­bourg which has a ratio ODA/GNI of 1.00.
  • 7Min­istère des Affaires Étrangères, Direc­tion de la coopéra­tion au développe­ment: Envi­ron­nement et change­ment cli­ma­tique – stratégie et ori­en­ta­tions 2009–2010.

The reports focus on a report­ing peri­od from Decem­ber 2009 until May 2010. This sur­vey was con­duct­ed on the basis of a ques­tion­naire that has been elab­o­rat­ed in March and April 2010. Most of the 31 reports were deliv­ered in May 2010.

The EU-27 Watch No. 9 receives sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from the Otto Wolff-Foun­da­tion, Cologne, in the frame­work of the ‘Dia­log Europa der Otto Wolff-Stiftung’, and finan­cial sup­port from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is not respon­si­ble for any use that may be made of the infor­ma­tion con­tained therein.