Fixing climate change: the future isn't what it used to be

● By Prof. David Hodgkinson, University of Western Australia ● This is the last part of a series following on from the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report and looking at emerging alternatives to the UN climate agreement process. State based action and sectoral agreements show some promise in dealing with aspects of climate change. But from humanity’s climate change experience to date and its failure to address the climate change problem through a global agreement, it’s safe to suggest we are headed for trouble. Given our current path on generating and dealing with emissions, here are my predictions for the future of climate change and climate change action. Individual action doesn’t and won’t matter Much has been made of individual action as a means of dealing with the climate change problem, but what one does personally doesn’t on its own make the least bit of difference. Put another way, the things individuals do in their daily lives, taken by themselves, have no effect. The planet doesn’t notice. It is collective action that matters, or what several billion people do. Environmental economis Gernot Wagner argues that “[t]he changes necessary are so large and so profound that they are beyond the reach of individual action”. Instead, what is required is policy that motivates individuals and major industrial sectors to reduce emissions and use resources more efficiently. In any event, there is nothing to indicate that our behaviour is changing; if anything, it’s “business as usual”. Policy focus will eventually be on adaptation Climate change mitigation involves reducing emissions through, for example, price-based mechanisms like emissions trading. Climate change adaptation means coping with or adjusting to climate change. With mitigation, adaptation becomes easier (and they are not alternatives) ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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