Saturday, December 12, 2009

Copenhagen Circus?

Paul Frijter's take on the climate negotiations and my comment on his post:

"Your blogpost shows why the new approach of the Australian Liberal Party won’t work. Taking some actions like increasing energy efficiency initiatives or renewable energy targets likely will only slow the growth of emissions in the face of the kind of things you list in the article. So we do need to save ourselves from our desires by imposing carbon restrictions and pricing (preferably via either an ETS or a carbon tax rather than administratively fixed quotas). Will the world’s governments eventually agree to a serious move of this sort. I think that eventually they will though more serious damage from climate change might be neccessary before they really get a move on. My best guess is that global carbon emissions in 2050 will be the same as today. This is backed up a small and unscientific poll I ran on my blog. In other words, emissions will grow slower than under business as usual but not slow enough to stabilize the climate. All the serious economic analysis of the costs of acting on climate change show that the costs are not that high – i.e. GDP would be 4-5% lower in 2050 than otherwise. Yet the public, business, and governments don’t seem to believe the economic analysis. It’s hard to believe that they think that that cost is too high."

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