Tag Archives: mitigation

EU Military Capability Development, NATO and Obesity

The Council adopted its conclusions on the European military capability development. The conclusions point out to measures such as exchange of information on defence budget cuts, capability pooling and sharing options (such as the recent UK-France Defence Cooperation Treaty), developing civil-military synergies in capability development, and developing cooperation with NATO regarding the development of military capabilities.

Now NATO is somewhat wary of EU’s military capability development, since it can divert important military infrastructure from the Alliance. The EU is not convinced of the success of most important NATO operation in the moment in Afghanistan. On the other hand experts say that the two organizations can align force development and mission-planning processes, and ensure closer communication and discourage any rivalry.

There is however a not-so-obvious threat both to EU and NATO military capabilities that  at first looks somewhat anecdotal. OECD reports that over half of adults in the European are overweight. As Letters from Europe notes, this is a military problem, since too many European men and women, just like in the US, are too fat to fight.

Hence the idea – couldn’t EU and NATO work on a obesity mitigation program as a first step in improving overall military capability?

 

 

Financing for Developing Countries: the Gordian Knot of Climate Change Negotiations?

This is not exactly news – European Union Member States disagree over the financing for developing countries as part of the overall climate change strategy. There is disagreement on everything – the scale of financing, the start of financing assistance, etc.

But wait – it appears that there is not a single official document issued by the EU with reliable and verifiable information on the total level of financial support to developing countries for climate change mitigation and adaptation purposes provided by the Union and its Member States to-date.

Not that the EU has not done anything – we’ve probably done more than anyone else. However, it is very difficult to expect any progress in the negotiations in Copenhagen when the Union itself does not have a common approach to climate change financing for the developing countries.

It is clear – we need to support adaptation and mitigation in the developing countries. One of the most important issues is to provide funding for new, more expensive, climate-friendly technologies. Another equally important element is financing adaptation measures that are synchronized with development strategies and take into account climate change impacts for the World’s poorest.

It never hurts to remind that climate change demands action that is both global and collective. Let us not build alliances that simply do not work.

This post is part of the Blog Action Day campaign.

Climate Change Aid Plans Not Sufficient?

Financial Times reports that the European Union is to offer €15 billion a year to help poor countries cope with the effects of climate change.

According to FT this offer falls short of what developing countries have said is needed. Additionally, the proposal reportedly contains language suggesting that the EU could use development aid promised for poor countries as part of its climate-change contribution. This idea is contested by NGOs that use development aid.

The question of aid needed by developing countries to engage in reducing their emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change is one of the four political essentials for Copenhagen formulated by Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

G-8 Consensus on Climate Change

It sounds a bit too good to be true. However, the G-8 summit has obviously agreed on targets for climate change mitigation.

The targets are:

  • two degrees Celsius target for global mean temperature increase;
  • global emissions must be halved by 2050;
  • developed countries will set an example by reducing their emissions by 80 per cent or more.

One of the problems is that developing countries rejected an agreement to commit to specific goals for greenhouse gases emissions reduction. Another problem appears to be the reluctance of the US administration to commit to short term (up to 2020) commitments as proposed by the European Union.

I still believe that every journey begins with a single step.