Asia-Europe Meeting provides lots of talk, little action

A club of 38 European and Asian leaders concluded a two-day summit in Helsinki, Finland, yesterday, saying what they always say and failing to make the concrete plans they always fail to make. The leaders agreed to continue to cut greenhouse gases after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, but didn’t set new targets. Predicting that long-term climate-change mitigation will require technological breakthroughs, the summit attendees agreed to encourage investment in clean energy and share “cleaner and climate-friendly” technologies with developing countries, which have “legitimate priority needs” to grow their economies and attend to the poor. But hey, talk is underrated, says Japanese international politics professor Seiji Endo: “It’s all the more important to have this kind of dialogue, in a world where the sole superpower is a country which thinks military power can solve any problem.” Careful, Endo — we’re not afraid to bomb you.