Australia is not alone in going to the Poznan conference on climate change without a firm commitment to reduced emissions targets. The world financial crisis has weakened the resolve of many nations to take bold steps against climate change. "The financial crisis will have an impact on climate change," said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on Sunday. "You already are seeing around the world a number of wind energy projects being pushed back."
In Europe it is the Germans now leading the way in trying to get the European Union to delay the introduction of more stringent rules aimed at increasing fuel efficiency and decreasing CO2 emissions from cars. Der Spiegel reports that the Union has long been planning to introduce strict rules on the amount of CO2 cars manufactured in the 27-member bloc are allowed to emit. The German Environment Minister, Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel, seems to be leaning toward a compromise. He suggested over the weekend that rules under consideration to mandate maximum automobile emissions of 120 grams of CO2 per kilometer by 2012 be pushed back to 2015 -- though at the same time insisting that the much stricter 2020 goal of 95 grams per kilometer be maintained.