A Question of Balance

6 October 2010


Eco is confused.  There seem to be a number of different definitions of ‘balance’, a word that has become high fashion in the halls of the Tianjin conference centre.  

But what is balance?  Is it ‘allow me’ or ‘after you’?  There have been a range of so-called ‘balanced options’ put forth in these negotiations.  A lot of times, though, it seems to be more about sequencing than balancing.  Some examples:

• Transparency before Finance

• Architecture before Ambition

• Higher Ambition before NAMAs

• Kyoto before LCA

• Rules before Targets

Instead, ‘balance’ should mean getting something you want, but also something of what you don’t want, in order to move forward.  But consider other comparisons that are also coming into play, such as:

• Profits before Science

• Coal before Floods

ECO would like to gently remind Parties that if one ‘balances’ the actions on climate change actually taken recently by countries against the number of major climate impacts felt this year, the scales do not tip in favour of an outcome that resembles any sort of equilibrium. 

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