Time to revisit the revealing quote from Ottmar Edenhoffer, IPCC leader in November 2010. He candidly said that climate policy was about redistributing wealth and has almost nothing to do with the environment. He also admitted countries who don’t sign up will be better off (so much for all the talk about creating green jobs). To give some sense of the scale of wealth transfer he described the up and coming UNFCCC Cancun meeting as “not a climate conference” but “one of the largest economic conferences since WWII”.
“Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. Why? Because we have 11,000 gigatons of carbon in the coal reserves in the soil under our feet – and we must emit only 400 gigatons in the atmosphere if we want to keep the 2-degree target. 11 000 to 400 – there is no getting around the fact that most of the fossil reserves must remain in the soil.
De facto, this means an expropriation of the countries with natural resources. This leads to a very different development from that which has been triggered by development policy.
First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.