Falling EU carbon price should inspire greater mitigation efforts

• By Prof. Ross Garnaut, University of Melbourne, Australia • Emissions growth in the 21st century was overwhelmingly concentrated in developing countries. My own calculations on “business as usual” emissions for the Climate Change Review Update suggested that in the absence of policy action to change established trends, developing countries would account for the whole of the increase in global emissions from 2005 to 2030. Developed country emissions as a whole were expected to remain steady between 2005 and 2030. In the absence of policy action, China would account for 41% of global emissions in 2030 and developing countries 70%. Whatever weight were given to the requirements of historical responsibility and justice, effective global mitigation would require major and early reductions from business as usual emissions in China and other developing countries. The Kyoto arrangements envisaged a comprehensive “top-down” agreement in which responsibility for constraining emissions would be allocated across countries and enforced internationally. This ideal would provide a firm basis for international trade in entitlements, to allow reductions in emissions to occur where they could be achieved at lowest cost. A different approach to setting national targets began to emerge at Copenhagen, took firm shape at Cancun and was elaborated in subsequent UNFCCC meetings in Durban and Doha. The big departure from the old regime is in the setting of country targets for constraining emissions. It has been accepted that substantial developing countries will make commitments to constrain emissions, in the form of reductions in emissions intensity or “business as usual” emissions. (Intensity targets are strongly preferred to business as usual, as they are capable of objective and unambiguous calculation ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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