Yesterday, the world’s trade ministers began meeting in Hong Kong to make a final attempt to salvage world trade talks. For many poorer nations, no deal will be better than the bad deal on the table.
We stand, first, with the emerging scientific consensus, which tells us we have very little time to act if we honestly expect to avoid a global (as opposed to a “merely local”) climate catastrophe. Further, we insist, contrary to the pretended realism of those who seek to be “reasonable,” on a rather direct approach. We do not, for example, imagine that carbon concentrations that would quite probably yield 3ºC or 4ºC of warming can reasonably be considered “safe.” 1 Instead, we prefer to stay in the reality-based world of those (the E.U., the Climate Action Network) who draw the line at 2ºC maximum (which is itself not by any means safe) and who admit that avoiding a global climate catastrophe is going to be difficult indeed.
The trade and labor debate is an important issue in both the ILO and the WTO.