A Climate Deal is Not Enough

The pursuit of a sustainable global society of low CO2 emitters requires a tremendous effort. Precisely for this reason, it also requires a broadly shared ethical basis, which would guide the negotiating parties in such a way that they look not only for solutions to a part of the problem, but first and foremost at a comprehensive solution to the entire problem.

AMSTERDAM – During the COP15 climate summit in Copenhagen, world leaders have been negotiating the future of our planet. All the signs suggest that they are unlikely to sign a global climate treaty. The views of the various countries, and of the various industrial and political power blocs, differ too much.

The politicians, civil servants, and other participants at the Copenhagen summit have mainly been bombarding each other with numbers. Figures on how much various countries should reduce CO2 emissions, the amount of money they should put up in coming years, the exact nature of their responsibilities, how much temperature increase Earth will be able to endure, and how long we can continue to wait.

These are all very important issues. But the mere figures are simply not enough. A different approach to the problem of climate change is needed.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.


By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in


Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.