Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

The G8 climate change

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 10 luglio 2009

For the first time the world’s richest agreed that it would be a good thing if average global temperatures did not rise above 2 degrees. This is the level scientists say we shouldn’t go over if we are to avert dangerous climate change. They also agreed that rich countries should try to cut their own emissions by 80% by 2050 in order to meet that target. However, they crucially faltered over the 1990 baseline for these cuts which is critical for them to have any credibility.  Most disappointing was the abject failure of the G8 to provide any leadership on the financing needed if these targets are to be reached. Developing countries are currently unwilling to come to the UN negotiating table because they feel it is unfair to expect them to bear the financial burden for adapting to climate change and shifting their economies onto a greener footing.  It is critical that President Obama in his role of chair of the Major Economies Forum is able to increase the pace of progress today. Time is running out.  Today we need stronger language on the 2 degree limit, more stringent emission cuts and money on the table. Specifically, we need all MEF countries to agree to cut their emissions by 80% by 2050 based on 1990 levels and commit to reductions by 2020, otherwise we could reach a tipping point when abrupt and dangerous climate change will occur.  Currently, negotiations under the UN are deadlocked because of the weak commitments on emissions cuts but also crucially on finance. Countries argue that they want to keep their position under wraps to give them a stronger negotiating position – this is a huge gamble.  Finance is needed for developing countries to adapt to the impact of climate change and put themselves on a green economic path (to avoid locking into a high-carbon one).  These are restitutional payments not aid and as such they must be additional to Overseas Development Aid (ODA). We need recognition that finance should be additional to aid, should prioritise the most vulnerable and include a serious assessment of potential sources for that finance. Several weeks ago Gordon Brown showed much needed leadership with his statement of the UK’s position on climate finance. Yesterday the G8 as good as ignored this. We hope the MEF today will see it cannot afford to.

Una Risposta a “The G8 climate change”

  1. Well, RE “deadlocked negotiations in UN”:
    Emission reduction could be much simpler, and thereby easier to agree on!

    Sufficient first phase 2020/2030 emission reduction is achieved by acting on ELECTRICITY generation (coal, gas) and TRANSPORT (mainly automobiles) alone, since these 2 sectors typically (as in the USA) account for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions.

    The focus on electricity and transport gives several advantages:

    1. Local environmental benefit from less pollution of sulphur and all else that’s in the emissions, regardless of the less certain or immediate global benefit from CO2 reduction.

    2. Electricity supply alternatives which together with improved grid distribution gives better competition and keeps down electricity bills for consumers.

    3. Transport alternatives (using electricity, hydrogen and other energy sources), which give variety of choice and competition advantages for consumers, additionally reducing the dependency on oil imports.

    4. No trade problems: Unlike Cap and Trade, which involves cement, steel and other industries having to face imports from unregulated countries, the here suggested electricity and transport changes are not just more limited, but also largely local. Since there is little competition between say utility companies internationally, “best practice” results can be compared and shared.

    Funding and Impact
    Equity and long term loan finance can be used: Long term industrial loans from financial institutions, particularly if federal/state guaranteed, give low yearly interest repayments and lessen the effect on electricity bills or transport cost.

    Compare with
    today’s all-encompassing Cap and Trade (emission trading) suggestions, with unpredictability, expense, and needless disruption from normal business practice on one hand, or unnecessary profiteering from free allowance handouts with little actual emission reduction on the other hand – together with extensive -and unnecessary- regulation on what people can or can’t buy and use.

    Understanding why proposed Cap and Trade is bad, in USA and elsewhere
    Basic Idea — Offsets — Tree Planting — Manufacture Shift — Fair Trade — Surreal Market — Real Market — Allowances: Auctions + Hand-Outs — Allowance Trading — Companies: Business Stability + Business Cost — In Conclusion

    The Way Forward
    Introduction — Funding and Impact —No Energy Efficiency Regulation — A New Electric World
    Electricity Generation — Distribution
    Transport Power Generation — Regulation — Taxation


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