This is the third in the series of LabourList link-ups with SERA during the Copenhagen summit.
While it is easy to become bogged down in arguments over leaked data and the number of flights being taken by delegates to Copenhagen, the principles of Copenhagen should be undisputed. Principles of equality and social justice need to be at the core of these discussions, for it is always those that are least resilient who will be hardest hit.
Those who argue against the a global agreement state that it will either be prohibitively expensive or that it is a form of neo-colonialism that will stop poorer countries from developing. Technology transfer one of the key issues being discussed in Copenhagen this week. The Carbon Trust argues against technology transfer saying that either the technology does not exist yet, or the infrastructure (human and physical) is missing in the developing world to take it up. This misses the point somewhat in that it assumes all technological solutions must be high-tech and therefore expensive.
Climate Frontline, a recent NGO-produced document, details the low-tech and local adaptation strategies being used in Africa, supported by charities such as Concern Universal. A British sustainable designer, Emily Cummins, recently created a sustainable fridge which requires no electricity and is now used in Africa to store medicines. Small-scale renewable energy generators do not require large-scale national grid infrastructure and provide economic opportunities at a local level, such as those being promoted by SolarAid. Importantly, these are technologies that already exist.