7 Jul 2009

How to get climate policy back on course




“The world has been re-carbonising, not carbonising. The evidence is that the Kyoto Protocol and its underlying approach have had and are having no meaningful effect whatsoever. Worthwhile policy builds upon what we know works and upon what is feasible rather than trying to deploy never-before implemented policies through complex institutions requiring a hitherto unprecedented and never achieved degree of global political alignment.” Prof. Gwyn Prins


A bit of stir has been caused today by the publication of a report suggesting that climate change policies don't work and the Kyoto framework must be scrapped.

You can read it here

It argues that under cap and trade, perversely polluters are paid cash and countries with high energy efficiency like Finland lose.

It reaches similar conclusions to these thoughts from my amigo Larry Lohmann

One lesson the current financial crisis teaches us is: beware of the new carbon markets that constitute today's main official response to climate change. These markets are startlingly similar to the financial derivatives markets that have thrown banking systems into chaos and the world economy into a tailspin

I suspect that most politicians even Green ones don't understand the current global framework, so just tend to go along with it.

The REDD part of it which is supposed to protect forests, helps remove indigenous people from rainforests, and encourages their destruction for biofuels.

The 'How to get climate policy back on course' report argues we should reduce carbon emissions by increasing energy efficiency and building non carbon energy sources, I disagree with them over nuclear power, but their approach is essentially correct. The complex cap and trade system has failed, we need to instead produce energy cleanly.

I would add that we need to protect the rainforests and other carbon sinks.

I listened to Nick Stern yesterday at a British Museum event, I would have like to have asked him how he could justify the present system of market based climate change policies....they have made bankers money but they have failed to reduce CO2.
emissions.

He told us that if we didn't deal with climate change we might as well 'write a letter to our grandchildren' explaining how we failed them.

I think he should get writing, his kind of approach to climate change has failed and will devaste the future if it continues.

For my critique of Stern have a click here.

2 comments:

L.L. Cox, Ph.D. said...

Thanks for reading my Campaign For Green blog!
I agree that we need to protect the rainforests and the people who live there, and other endangered habitats. The alternative energy discussed at www.terrahumanafoundation.org is a no-emissions technology that will protect the earth just by virtue of its totally clean energy.
Have a good day!

Jonathan said...

This report should have the same profile as Blair's recent claim to climate fame - where he proposes over-reliance on technology to address climate change and seems to fail to see that without limits to growth this investment will keep our economies going not put us on a new path. We need to redefine living well within our planets resources not create new industries and carbon markets that trap us into believing that business-as-usual with a few tweaks is sufficient.