Claus Leggewie

Eurozine Logo
2 November 2011

Sea and sun for Europe

Democratic upsurge in North Africa can combine with the renewable energy revolution to inject new life into the European project. Two-way developmental traffic across the Mediterranean would leave new generations in both North and South with fair chances of a good life, Claus Leggewie suggests.

Europe’s collective memory is as diverse as its nations and cultures and cannot be regulated by official acts of state or commemorative rituals, writes Claus Leggewie. The most significant challenge for a European memory is to reconcile “competing” memories of the Holocaust and the Gulag. Yet other historical experiences must also be integrated: memories of wartime and expulsion, of colonialism and immigration, and not least of the “success” of the European Union.

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If the G8’s goal of limiting global warming to 2C is to be more than just lip service, radical decisions will need to be taken at the climate change conference in Copenhagen in December. An emissions-trading system based on a national per-capita emissions budget and tied to historical responsibility would offer enormous opportunities to developing countries and provide the key to a new low-carbon global order.

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Neither the industrialised nor the emerging countries are able to solve the climate problem by “going it alone”, write Claus Leggewie and Dirk Messner. In Copenhagen, the European Union needs to table a set of exacting reduction targets, without conditioning them on the willingness of others to follow suit.

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