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Tianjin climate change talks fiasco

What a waste of breath these climate change talks proved to be.  The large developing countries (the BASIC countries, South Africa, India, China, Brazil) continue to reject carbon tariffs (border tax adjustments, BTAs) and international monitoring of their emissions cuts on the grounds that the US and other countries are not doing enough to mitigate their emissions. The US is equally insistent that monitoring is an essential prerequisite to move forward. The attitudes of the BASIC countries however confuse separate issues that do make sense from those which do not make any sense at all.

An obvious resolution would be for the BASIC countries to agree to carbon tariffs after some period where they pursue emission intensity reductions only – those BTAs foreshadowed in the US’s Waxman-Markey Bill were not due to come into operation until after 2020 anyway. The BASIC countries should to agree immediately to monitoring of emissions reduction efforts subject to an exemption period that permits pursuit of emissions intensity reductions only. 

Long-term these tariffs are just and fair – they penalise countries which cheat the rest of the world by implying that it alone pay the cost of emissions control.  Monitoring is essential given the types of deceptions that have arisen in the CDM operation. Again countries which are sincere in their mitigation policy stance – this applies to all countries – should not object to monitoring.

The advantage to developing countries from carbon tariffs is that they help promote an international agreement. The negotiating position of the BASIC countries should focus on when they are to be introduced not whether they should be used. The BASIC countries cannot deny that a comprehensive agreement to control greenhouse gas emissions must eventually involve mitigation efforts by all. The advantage of monitoring of all countries is that those involved in a climate change deal are assured they will not be cheated.

Then the BASIC countries should strongly attack the US and other developed countries for failing to take decisive steps to address climate change. Many western commentators – and indeed European governments – would support this criticism of countries such as the US and Australia since it is entirely fair and justified.  How can rich countries put pressure on poor countries to mitigate further when they are doing so little themselves?

A very unsatisfactory meeting where some participants seemed to have foregotten the real dangers that climate change poses.  The time for action is now – no time left for pointless politics.

1 comment to Tianjin climate change talks fiasco

  • pomoc prawna

    Heutzutage kann niemand das Leben ohne Computer vorstellen. Was die Arbeit und die Studie wäre ohne sie aus?

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