On the Way to Copenhagen's Climate Conference: A Push for International Cooperation

A declaration encouraging green growth concluded a two-day discussion at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's annual ministerial meeting.

Ministers from 40 countries, which account for 80 percent of the world economy, met in Paris June 24-25 to discuss solutions to the global economic and environmental crises.

"We are convinced that the current crisis can act as a catalyst for much needed policy reform, generating both environmental, employment and economic gain," the group said in a report.

The declaration illustrates this idea. It aims to change behaviors and foster a low-carbon society through the expansion of incentives for green investment, establishment of appropriate regulations and strengthening of international cooperation.

OECD members committed to support developing countries in their fight against climate change by accelerating financing and other support.

"We underline the special need to co-ordinate international development co-operation activities in order to help developing countries promote green growth, recognising the role of the OECD Development Assistance Committee in this regard," the declaration said.

This reminder on the necessity of cooperation regarding climate change issues prepares the ground for the 15th Conference on Climate Change to be held in Copenhagen in December. OECD hopes to "reach an ambitious, effective, comprehensive and fair international climate agreement."

International cooperation could mean increased compensation for developing countries. Such outcome would align with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's view on the issue.

Zenawi said June 25 any agreement in Copenhagen that does not include substantial compensation for Africa would be illegitimate. He called countries from the North to recognize that their pollution has caused huge damage to Africa and Ethiopia, such as the disastrous famines during the 1980s.

Backing Zenawi's argument was a study commissioned by the Global Humanitarian Forum last month. The research concluded that poor countries bear more than nine-tenths of the human and economic burden of climate change, yet the 50 poorest countries only contribute less than 1 percent of carbon emissions.

About the author

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    Antoine Remise

    Antoine is a former international development correspondent for Devex, based in Paris. He holds a bachelor's in political science from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques of Lille and a master's in development administration and planning from the University College in London. Antoine has conducted researche for development projects in Chile, Senegal and Uganda, notably on education, health, local saving systems and housing issues. He is fluent in French, English and Spanish.