Coal Power – Micronesia Disputes Czech Power Plant

The Czech republic, which relies on coal for more than 60 percent of its power generation, plans to build one of the biggest coal power stations in Europe. Its CO2 emissions will be 40 times bigger than the total CO2 emissions of the whole state of Micronesia. The small state, situated mostly just one meter above sea level will simply disappear from the maps if climate warms and as a consequence sea level rises as projected by all serious climate scientists. Quiet understandibly, Micronesia’s government considers the Czech power plant as an indirect threat to its very existence and disputes the construction permit, more precisely the environmental review of the power plant. The argument goes that the review should take into account transborder environmental risks including those in far away states.

ON-green-policy! Of course Micronesia’s is strategically aiming at Europe’s advanced environmental consciousness and efficient legal checks concerning such projects. It is also rather symbolic because any real reduction of coal consumption is illusive without the biggest coal consumers (China, USA, India, Russia and Germany). Nevertheless, it is a consequent and logical action and demonstrates the global repercussions of national strategies and how globally interlinked energy policies and indeed environmental issues have become. The traditional concentration on purely national interests produces very unsatisfactory outcomes and new forms of international cooperation and problem solving have to be established. Unfortunately, as global institutions are mostly weak and inefficient, global politics have still a very long way go for being able to adequately dealing with such problems.

My conclusion to this problem is not to disengage from international policy but that we need committed, pragmatic and international politicians able to get the big picture instead of being stuck in their respective national realm. It is not even hard to get them, just cast your vote wisely. The link from citizens to international policy however indirect and invisible it may be is  real. And even if you happen to believe that you have no way of influencing global politics, the stakes, the issues that only to be solved globally are just too high to not at least trying.

Source: Courrier International

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