Azara Blog: Bali climate conference completely missing the point

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Date published: 2007/12/15

The BBC says:

The US has said the climate change negotiating process it agreed to in Bali must ensure developing states take their fair share of emission cuts.

The deal did not meet this principle fully, the White House said - climate change could not be curbed by emission cuts from developed countries alone.

Environmentalists have criticised the lack of firm reduction targets in the plan which the US initially rejected.

Well, the so-called environmentalists would criticise anything that doesn't fit 100% with their narrow partisan ideology, that is the way they are. And it is unfortunate how many people have focussed on which countries should cut what "fair share" of emissions. This is completely missing the real point, which is that global carbon emissions need to come down. The way country emission accounts are calculated is completely misleading, since it looks at production and not consumption. So saying that Europe needs to reduce emissions by X% by year Y, and that China has some weak or no requirement, will just make the situation worse, because Europe will get the Chinese to emit carbon on their behalf. So Europe will stop making steel and instead import it from China, and according to Kyoto/Bali, Europe will have reduced emissions. It's a nonsense. What we need is a global carbon tax, or (not so good) a cap and trade system, and then everybody is on a level playing field and emissions will be correctly accounted for. If America happens to be most efficient at producing goods per unit of carbon emitted then they will be able to emit (relatively) more, and similarly for China, and the global total will come down as required. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be pushing this agenda. The academic middle class so-called environmentalists seem to be keen just to screw the working class citizens of their own countries, all allegedly for the benefit of the working class of the poor countries.

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