January 16, 2006

Environment: Different paths

Madeleine Bunting writes in today’s guardian on Kyoto protocol and the environmental movement in general. She thinks too much attention has been focused debt and trade issues relative to the EU emissions trading scheme and post Kyoto terms.

Looked at objectively it makes no sense. Climate change will dwarf the damage the common agricultural policy subsidies wreak on African farmers; it is already costing at least 150,000 lives a year as warmer temperatures encourage disease, and erratic rainfall will starve millions in coming years. Here is an issue that makes all the aid and debt deals of 2005 look like an afternoon parlour game. Yet such was the momentum of the Make Poverty History campaign that climate change slipped off the public radar and environmental groups felt they couldn't compete.

Contrast with the supposed pro-growth, pro-technology stance of the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate. From nature.com

The first meeting of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which comprises Australia, the United States, Japan, South Korea, India and China, was hosted in sunny Sydney this week. Together the countries came up with a scheme to address climate change that they say will be good for both the economy and the planet.

Their plan focuses on the creation of eight government-business task forces, which will concentrate on cleaning up power generation and distribution, the building trade, and the industries of steel, aluminium, cement and coal mining. These task forces are to devise action plans, time frames and performance indicators, but details are vague at present. The plan does not specifically mention nuclear power.

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I've been following the progress of the Asia-Pacific partnership with some interest. For me, it represents a much more workable solution than the alternative Kyoto-type approach. I await with much anticipation further details as to their plan of action…

    16 Jan 2006, 14:11

  2. Though no country is obliged to meet a target, I feel more comfortable with its non-commital approach given the uncertainty surrounding costs and benefits.

    17 Jan 2006, 00:19


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