Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tuvalu is 'developing', China is a superpower

On Climate Change Tuvalu has a different view to China and India. That is because Tuvalu really care about climate change, for obvious reasons.

'Developing country' is a relative term, so that countries can claim such status if they have less wealth per person than the US or Western Europe. But in the case of China and India, countries that are part of the strategic environment affecting Australia, that choose to spent an astronomical amount of their wealth on military capability and that are nuclear armed, are effectively asking us to take a bigger hit on their behalf.

I think far more than $10 billion should be pledged by the 'wealthy countries' to support poor countries as part of this process, but allowing China to access that support, while racing to built its already ridiculously large military up to intimidate the neighbourhood, seems a bit foolish. The issue probably goes far beyond Copenhagen to a debate about where the world's developmental welfare should be directed.

In my view China does not care much about emissions. They simply aren't that sort of nation, they would see no major issue with replanting millions of people away from the coast. They are an old-style realist strategiser and they are basically looking at this process to advance their position relative to the other players, in particular the US.

Which seen entirely from their vantage point, is probably understandable. But if Australia ends up giving them handouts that would be a bit bizarre.

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