Question asked: do ethical interests gain ground in the negotiations or are practical interests more directly addressed?
Hewitson’s answer: Hewitson comments that countries almost exclusively favor their national interests to altruism. He notes that certain groups, such as the European Union, have made altruistic sacrifices (by my colleague, Brett Shollenberger’s, best definition: actions that are not economically, socially, or politically beneficial to a nation in the short term, with the exclusion of intergovernmental social and political interaction). Hewitson argues, however, that altruism is the only way to achieve intergenerational equity. He feels that the United States’ target of 17% reductions relative to 2005 levels by 2020 is inequitable (to put it nicely).
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At COP-15, Bruce Hewitson was a South African climatologist working with the Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG).