Submitted on 30/1/2012 by Laurent Lambert, Oxford University Centre for the Environment,
Europaeum Research Director for 2012 Prague Workshop and for 2010 Paris Workshop
Love it or loath it, yet another world summit to save the world will take place in May. We Europeans, more than any others, should be used to it now. For the last three years, we’ve had an incredible proliferation of 'last-chance summits': to save the climate or perish in Copenhagen, to save our banks from collapse then, or more recently to save Greece and the Euro currency - in an interminable series of emergency meetings. The problem is, that we have not solved once and for good any of these issues.
The Copenhagen accord proved to be a failure; the Euro remains fragile; and, to say the least, Greece is still in a precarious situation. Only our banks – already back to old greedy ways, short returns and obscene bonuses – appear to have successfully escaped the danger zone. A truly debatable outcome, in other words. So, at a time of multiple crises, can we, Europeans, truly afford a new summit? (the 72 hours of G8/G20 twin summits in Canada cost roughly € 762,5 million, half of it for security cover alone!) The answer is - surprisingly - yes. For two main reasons.