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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Business Times, December 3, 2015
 

Arguments promoted by an alliance of these climatically warmer developing countries might derail COP 21.

Paris has braced itself to accommodate ministers, advisers, journalists and protesters to the UN climate change meeting, COP 21 (Committee of All Parties), which has 137 confirmed attendees by heads of state on the first day. Then it will be up to other conference delegates to wrangle an agreement which many hope will be the “Kyoto II”.

Of course Paris and the French government have been planning this meeting for some years as they have to cater for 40,000 people, including 3,000 journalists. Many issues have to be managed on a massive scale – communications, transport, accommodation, food and more. Plus delegates need to be protected from the expected 200,000 protesters – although their planned rally has been cancelled due to the heightened security against terrorist attacks. Finally, all 195 nations of the United Nations are expected to sign the convention, typically by their heads of government.

Earlier, I had thought COP 21 might be a “done deal” as the world’s biggest climate polluters in absolute terms – China and the US – had agreed a timetable of mitigation. When US President Barack Obama met Chinese President Xi Jinping in China last November they agreed the US would reduce emissions by some 28 per cent by 2025, and China to peak emissions by 2030 or before. They reaffirmed their commitments when Mr Xi visited the US in September 2015. Other nations were expected to follow their lead.

At Paris, besides the main conference, there will be hundreds of break-out meetings where officials will try to clarify various issues. Most agree that climate change is an urgent problem, but there are still some sceptics. Nations will try to win concessions on the depth and timing of changes they must make to keep the global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius.

We all appreciate that hot weather makes us uncomfortable. Some economists think that rich countries with their air conditioning might not suffer as much as poor, technology-light nations. But it turns out that the story is not so simple. Much depends on whether one’s location has an average temperature above or below the global average.

In a recent academic paper, professors Marshall Burke, Solomon Hsiang and Edward Miguel of the University of California at Berkeley note that countries with generally cooler weather than the global average, as in northern Europe, have achieved higher than average economic growth when their temperatures were warmer than average. They say that cold northern nations will grow in GDP (gross domestic product) terms and hotter ones will falter. Their findings are substantiated to 2100 (the end of the COP 21 planning horizon).

There are many ramifications to these findings and all will be aired in Paris. Convoluted discussions will be held between those who understand the science and those not so well informed.

Over recent years the UN/IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has presented many scenarios describing the effects of increasing global temperatures, and how individuals might respond. We have a limited natural control over our bodies, and we cannot control the effect of the weather which is predicted to become more extreme. Richer northern climes might have to cope with ever more economic migrants from hotter areas where it just does not make economic sense to battle against nature. There will come a time when local mitigation costs become prohibitive and migration is the best option.

Interestingly the same academics note other effects of climatic stress – that is warmer temperatures or more extreme rainfall increases social tensions and conflicts. These will cut into everyone’s profits but the results fall asymmetrically upon the poor, making them poorer. These poor will wish to migrate.

The perception of a nation being rich will be an attractor to a poor person, so migrating to the US, Europe or China will become a goal. We will hear in COP 21the US and Europe described by developing nations as historically polluting nations and these richer nations should now do their utmost to give even greater economic support to developing nations. This will leave China on the fence – perceived as a rich nation and a migration target, while its negotiators will attempt to derive benefits accruing to a developing nation.

An accepted precondition for economic growth is having sufficient energy. The Philippines wishes to install 24 new coal-fired power stations – they need more electricity 24/7 to boost their economy and they know that wind and solar energy have technological drawbacks even though they are non-polluting.

These new power stations, even into the future, are unlikely to capture much of the green-house gas and carbon dioxide, as the sequestration technology is unproven at scale. Ironically the Philippines will contribute further to the global temperature rise: Yet, as they are in a “hot” geographic location, their future economic condition is predicted to worsen long term even with a greater supply of electrical energy.

A similar issue arises in Bangladesh. They have installed a large base of solar panels, greatly improving rural life and productivity. But again, to guarantee electricity supplies 24/7 they are installing new coal-fired generators. India too, soon to become the world’s most populous nation, will demand at COP 21 that it be allowed to further develop its coal-fired electricity generation so that it may continue to develop economically. These nations might argue for their short-term solution in COP 21, but what would be the long-term impact?

While the world’s two largest polluters, the US and China, are in the colder northern regions and according to the academics will grow strongly into the future, what might derail COP 21 may be arguments promoted by an alliance of climatically warmer and economically poorer developing nations.

 

The writer is founder and chairman of Horasis, a global visions community.

 


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