Equity and justice must be at the centre of any action plan against global warming if it is to succeed, says US author Tom Athanasiou.
The Bali roadmap meet wasn't the breakthrough the world had required, but still the game has indeed changed.
For one, countries like China, South Africa, and Brazil have signaled a new willingness to make binding commitments to limit emissions.
Secondly richer countries seemed to have finally acknowledged the need for sharp domestic emissions reductions and also accepted their responsibilities to the poor.
But then by way of fulfilling their Bali commitments, the developed nations would have to go for large-scale technology transfer, and of the best of the new technologies at that. Not of the worst of the old, says Tom Athanasiou, writing in the YES! magazine.
(He is the author of Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor, and co-author (with Paul Baer) of Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global Warming.)
Large-scale funding for adaptation and poverty alleviation is the need of the hour, he notes, for without it there is little chance of finding the global solidarity that will be needed to manage the transition.
Importantly Bali saw the long-overdue encounter between the climate movement and the global justice movement finally take place in earnest, and neither movement will ever be the same again.
To make further strides on that road, resources have to be provided to ensure that the poorer countries continue to develop without pushing the rest of the world into catastrophe.
Besides, the rules and priorities of the WTO, World Bank, IMF, and other institutions must be brought in line with the imperatives of the climate regime.
"All of which is to say that we'll need to put justice at the center of the climate agenda, right along with environmental adequacy in the face of an astonishingly severe threat. For without justice there will not be cooperation or solidarity. And without global solidarity, we will fail," Tom Athanasiou warns.