"The UAE made waves at the Copenhagen climate talks yesterday by putting its name to a joint statement calling on developed countries to commit to deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
The document, which was also signed by Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Iceland, Singapore and Slovenia, is one of the strongest statements on climate change to come from an oil-producing nation.
Members of Opec, the petroleum exporters, have generally sought to downplay the issue of global warming.
The UAE has maintained that developing states should not be committed to obligatory emissions cuts, a position reiterated on Sunday by Dr Saad al Numeiri, one of 22 senior officials representing the UAE in Copenhagen.
As an oil-producer, the UAE would suffer economically from measures to reduce the world’s dependence on oil. But yesterday’s statement focused instead on the need to strengthen co-operation among the international community.
Mari Luomi, a researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, said the statement represented a break with tradition for the UAE. “This is a significant departure from the Opec position, which the UAE has been inadvertently supporting. It is very bold in a way,” she said.
Opec, she said, has been “very vague” on what should be the maximum permissibly level of warming. The Saudi government has insisted on financial compensation for oil revenues lost due to measures to reduce the fossil fuel consumption of developed states."
It's bewildering that the UAE would take such a stance. If a binding 'cap and trade' agreement for emissions gets endorsed by the Copenhagen conference, it may lead to declining consumption of oil world-wide.
It's a little counterintuitive for an oil-producing country to support such a move.
But it's also noteworthy that the UAE "maintained that developing states should not be committed to obligatory emissions cuts", which means that it'd only be limited to developed nations. In other words, it's business as usual for China and it'll continue to emit smoke like a chimney.
So, simply put, the final agreement will either be insignificant, or it will be stalled by developed nations.
Have a nice weekend.