Whenever I read something with the byline Alexander Neubacher at SPIEGEL, I expect some form or other of anti-renewable propaganda trying to make climate change worse. Now, in a new interview with German economist Kai Konrad, SPIEGEL gives an explanation for why they want the planet to heat up more quickly.
The title of that piece is “Europe Shouldn’t Try So Hard to Save the Planet”.
I don’t agree with that.
The reason Konrad gives for his position is that with Europeans going ahead aggressively with costly policies to reduce emissions, other countries like China and the United States have more incentive to just lean back and free ride on Europe’s efforts. The better bargaining strategy would be to do nothing until these other countries come on board, in his misguided opinion.
That’s already wrong because free riding on Europe can’t possibly work on principle. The European Union’s CO2 emissions are about 11% of all world wide. Even getting rid of all that won’t get the climate anywhere if everybody else proceeds with business as usual.
And if the EU gets into the business of waiting for others to start acting, there will be no one left on the international stage to call for the necessary speed of emission reduction.
As far as the negotiating position is concerned, the EU will always be more convincing asking for more efforts from China and the United States if it does more at home than if it follows the advice of Konrad to do less.
While I strongly disagree with this position, I am glad that SPIEGEL would push it. That explains a lot about their agenda.