A comment by George Sbokos regarding financial Vs climate crisis

This is a comment posted by my good friend George Sbokos who happens to be one of the very few lawyers I know with high environmental expertise. George is also running the web-site ECOTHESIS (http://www.ecothesis.gr/) which is unfortunately available only in Greek language – I hope that George is going to prepare and English version too. Thanks a lot George for your contribution.

“Polluter pays, speculator pays
In the upcoming World finance meeting and according to the declarations of Nicolas Sarkozi, a new compromise solution has to be found in order to get consensus for the climate protection aims (http://www.faz.net/s/RubEC1ACFE1EE274C81BCD3621EF555C83C/Doc~E6F7654340A55456BAD032FEB4EB3CFB1~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html).

That should happen before January. Italy’s Prime Minister Berlusconi demanded already a suspension of the treaty’s (cut down C02 emissions) provisions. At the same time Poland, together with other five EU members, incl. Greece (!) are threatening with a veto. (http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE4922NT20081003).

Under these circumstances the Solid Waste Industry, just like any environmental business will be politically directly affected. Indirectly, financially the impacts may stay for the next years because of the global financial crisis.

The main proof -at the time being- of the global hierarchy of environmental issues can be seeing on the comparison between the global reactions after the climate crisis (Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), published in 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)) and the present reactions after the economic crisis.

Nothing binding in the first case, globally bound in the second. Not a penny in the first case, billions of dollars in the second. Money versus Climate at it’s best!

What really matters now is the exploitation of the unfortunate (?) turn of the economy, and the reconsideration/combination of the decision making and the enforcement of some main environmental issues. The global community has to be convinced, that the solution tunnel out of the crisis leads to the environmental management. The taxation of the natural resources, the reduction in employment taxation has to be taken under consideration.

It is a time of change and that was already foreseeing. The door to a Meta-industrial period is viciously opened, in accurate accordance to the vicious environment where it roots. A new chance for environmental policies is born. Though, next to the enforcement of the “polluter pays” principal, a frame of “speculator pays” liability has to be met

George Sbokos”

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