Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Asia-Pacific climate talks will not escape Catch-23

The United States, Japan, China, India, Australia and South Korea, all coal exporting and importing nations and producers, and some of the world's biggest resource and power companies are meeting at the first Asia Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate in Australia.

The big six account for 48% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and 48% of its energy consumption.

No campaign groups or scientific organisations have been invited. No agenda has been published. No targets will be set. There will be no scientific evaluation of the best energy technology policies to reduce greenhouse pollution. The talks are a closed shop.

As mentioned in the blog entry Catch-23, the US expects business and technology to solve climate change.

But the only regions in the world which have successfully and dramatically achieved deliberate action to reduce emissions have done so by government action. It's the only way out of Catch-23 - besides the crash.

"Technologies do not just appear from nowhere; they have to be developed, mostly in response to new markets," argues Jonathan Kohler, an economist at England's Cambridge University. These are nurtured by the right public policies.

An example is in America itself. Tomorrow the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is expected to vote to approve the California Solar Initiative (CSI), which will secure $3.2 billion for solar energy rebates in the state for the next 11 years.

Schwarzeneger must know something Bush doesn't.

No comments: