Back on the Copenhagen conference

Back to Copenhagen by R.Guillet

Rémi Guillet is an ECN Engineer (ex ENSM), he graduated in 1966. He holds a doctorate in energy mechanics from the Univ. H. Poincaré Nancy 1 (2002) and has a DEA Economics Paris 13 (2001)

Debate and analyes: non Copenhagen

Fire 2009, and 2010 opens its "solar" cycle.

This is how our planet evolves around its "pivot": the Sun, a star essential to life on Earth, however precarious and fragile it may be! But before we turn the page, what will remain of the completed year? Undoubtedly not the "Copenhagen summit" unless you are interested in the anthology of missed meetings as one sees a blooper again!

For the world, the lanterns of the Danish capital went out in an almost panic to hear boos from ordinary citizens but convinced of the importance of the issue under discussion.

We can say that after this summit, the disappointment is equal to the too full of hope of all, if not of a large majority of indoor and outdoor participants, observers of all ranks, not to mention the most committed and aware of the environmental problem. , "KO standing" (like the army of Cambyses (1)).

And the prospect of “living together”, consensual, at the global level, to face the new climate and energy situation has once again become the utopia of utopias.

Thus the Responsible for the World and their cohort of sherpas returned from this meeting announced as a turning point not to be missed, decisive for our survival ... Returned discreetly, initially satisfied with not having departed from their mission of defending " their domestic interests ”for which they are democratically mandated… Returned without being able to dispense with discharging into the atmosphere for their return, the second tranche of the few hundred thousand tons of greenhouse gases necessary for their“ transport ”by air…

We do not want to come back here to the carbon tax but rather remind us that aircraft fuel (kerosene), unlike fuels and other “terrestrial” fossil fuels, is still not taxed! This since the Chicago convention in the aftermath of the Second World War ... an arrangement then taken to "launch" this type of transport which is still particularly bulimic today in terms of fuel consumption with a disastrous impact on the upper atmosphere. We even note that it is, on the contrary, low cost air travel which is developing today, following a recommendation from a famous and recent commission for the liberalization of French growth (2). What to meditate on!

Likewise, the ecological diaspora was able to recover its status as a (diffuse) global movement in opposition to the official challenges of growth and other development. A movement probably weakened by the inability of "politicians" to take a step forward, weakened by the echoes from a college of "scientists" little sensitized or even "without faith" vis-à-vis the weight of the human activity on a planetary warming still very hypothetical for some of them… and who knew how to seize the opportunity “Copenhagen” to be heard and to sow doubt. For those there, we would again want to dwell on the merits of respecting the precautionary principle "when we do not know" or the importance of sparing the oil resource in particular, when we are aware of everything. what Western growth the last fifty years owes him when we hear that the "barrel has a bottom" that we can now see!

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Thus, the failure of Copenhagen can be formidable ...

In contrast, among the most relevant results of this UN meeting, we can see a little more how much appropriate decision-making rules are necessary for “global governance” (3). Indeed, as at the level of democratic States where - in practice - consensus cannot be the decision-making rule, it would not be fairer if, each country having a voice, UN decisions are also taken according to the rule. majority vote?

But let's come back to the economic stake underlying this summit ...

We will pass on the account of lack of sleep, uninterrupted work, the words of our Minister of Ecology and Energy made during a hot debriefing, admitting to having badly perceived the underlying economic stake. at this summit !!!

When we know - let's repeat it - what economic development and other growth must fossil fuels (4) one remains speechless!

Thus, the need for the emergence of a new model is a prerequisite for a real change of course, first for ecological reasons, then because of the scarcity of fossil energy heritage.

In the meantime, the current development model remains the “mirror to the larks” of emerging countries and those who aspire to be. Indeed, we know that after the environmental problems and climatic drifts with increasingly disastrous consequences (at the increasingly high societal cost (5)), the world population, in exponential demographic growth, has no chance. to realize his “Western dream” in this context of scarcity… and the near disappearance of the manna of “easy” (fossil) energy.

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The global project must therefore strive to offer all countries a fair future, that is to say, give emerging countries the opportunity to develop technologies adapted to the new context, and poor countries to follow them on this path, it is up to the so-called developed countries to initiate an essential change of course… towards new challenges that are more qualitative, less quantitative, softer, less hard (6).

A middle path of wisdom footprint

It is probable that, in their hearts, the great majority of politicians - and of the greatest - left Copenhagen with, intact, the idea that it had to but could not engage any further, with the idea that the issue was beyond its mandate.

However, as we have already written, the States will necessarily end up agreeing but on minimalist provisions (5) which must then be applied by all (a real challenge in itself!).

Thus, this text would like to emphasize once again that, following strategies for changing course desired and supported by the greatest number of citizens, each country can now go beyond the prescriptions that may exist by encouraging, via tax refunds and other tax credits, tax, all its nationals, civil or legal persons, public and private to be as virtuous as possible: early preparation for an inevitable future being a very quickly winning strategy for all!

And after corporate social responsibility (CSR) - a concept very popular today - we must therefore highlight that of the social responsibility of countries (RSP)!

The expectations of education

The current adult population will find it very difficult to get rid of its "canons of success" through appearance, material and a need for "ever more" technology, travel yet ready to choose the 4 × 4 or others. big sedans for fun, probably ready to accept the wearing of gas masks if the announced shortage of oil were to be long overdue, in that preceded by the health problem!

So we have to bet instead on the next generation, now teenagers, to teach them other forms of “wealth” (7), more interior and intimate than “small is beautiful”, that the planet is beautiful near home. itself, that the practice of this proximity declined in a thousand ways is full of ecological virtues and thus prepare the essential basis for the construction of another model of development, for the establishment of other challenges of individual and collective success ... more concerned with overall benefits, equity, the long term ...

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Thus, with the CSR (Corporate Social Resonsabilité) and RSP (Corporate Social Responsibility Country) the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility Citizen (RSC) is to promote!

We wrote this text the day after the closure of the Copenhagen summit. For technical reasons it could not be broadcast before January. So what is its use in appearing several weeks later, in coming back to a “non-event”? Of course for the reader to decide!

As far as we are concerned, we have chosen this “Laconic Return to Copenhagen” to underline how difficult it will be to break with a development model which has made people dream, which makes people dream, which still makes people dream (as we dream with regret of the past!), dreams that are all the stronger and nurtured as there is no known alternative!

Thus breaking with the current model requires a radical questioning of our culture (civilization?). Inventing another one will require a lot of time but first of all supposes a situation that does not yet seem there ...


(1) This metaphor has become obvious because of the parallel between the cause of the disappearance of this army, due to an extraordinary natural environmental phenomenon and the cause which drives the ecological fight. (Cambyses was a Persian king who, in 525 BC, set out to conquer Egypt and then strove to destroy traces of the Egyptian religious past. According to legend, the 50000 men who made up his army died, "standing", all buried by a meteoric sandstorm ...)
(2) Commission for the Liberation of Growth - Attali Report 2007 -
(3) See on this site the article “G 8, G 13, G 20 ″: Let's agree with the point of view of Joseph Stiglizt”
(4) See on this site the article " Energy and Growth: a brief summary« 
(5) See the chapter devoted to “social responsibility and corporate governance” by R. Guillet, in the book by Laurent Leloup and devoted to “Sustainable finance” (publication early 2010)
(6) See on this site the article "Advocacy for another growth"
(7) See on this site "Small text on Having and Being" or the two facies of "wealth"

Debate and analyes: non Copenhagen

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