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World Opinion: On Climate Change

An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers throughout the world:

By The Associated Press

On climate change:

Many of the nations that hope to reduce carbon dioxide emissions have set their sights on the nice, round number 2050, a year just far enough in the future to seem distant. What will the world look like then?

The richest countries seem to believe that they can buy their way out of climate change. You can argue until you're blue in the face that we have to reduce emissions first where it's least expensive. But the question is: least expensive for whom? Why should developing countries renounce growth and welfare so that their industrialized counterparts can maintain their own? ...

In 2050, the global distribution of power will likely have shifted significantly: away from Europe and the US and toward countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China. There will be new permanent members of the UN Security Council, which will force the old reliable powers, like the UK and France, to relinquish their votes to the EU.

And then there's water, which is at least as pressing a problem as climate change. There's a fixed amount of potable water. When one group gets more, another gets less. This is a geopolitical problem that might become far more difficult to deal with than financial crises and climate negotiations. ...

Still, it's possible that things won't turn out this way. The odds of which will increase greatly if the industrialized world starts to focus on what it can do at home to slow climate change. Ultimately, that would prove much less expensive than the current course.

-- Dagsavisen, Oslo, Norway