Monday, 28 January 2013

Stern Advice

Sir Nicholas Stern said this in 2007. Aside from CCS which still doesnt work properly he seems to have it about right.

"The problem of climate change involves a fundamental failure of markets: those who damage others by emitting greenhouse gases generally do not pay."

"Climate change is a result of the greatest market failure the world has seen. The evidence on the seriousness of the risks from inaction or delayed action is now overwhelming. We risk damages on a scale larger than the two world wars of the last century. The problem is global and the response must be a collaboration on a global scale."

Rich countries must lead the way in taking action. "That means adopting ambitious emissions reduction targets; encouraging effective market mechanisms; supporting programmes to combat deforestation; promoting rapid technological progress to mitigate the effects of climate change; and honouring their aid commitments to the developing world," he said.

Sir Nicholas used the RES lecture - entitled, Climate Change, Ethics and the Economics of the Global Deal - to set out a six-point global deal for tackling climate change.

The first involves rich countries reducing their greenhouse emissions by at least 80% - either directly or through trading schemes - in order that the overall 50% reduction in global emissions by 2050 is met.

Secondly he called for substantial trade between countries, including rich and poor countries, in greenhouse gas emissions.

The third point requires a major reform of the clean development mechanism, a Kyoto protocol mechanism that allows developing countries to sell emission reductions, but does not penalise them for emissions themselves, making it a "one-sided trade mechanism", said Sir Nicholas.

He also argued for an international programme to combat deforestation, which contributes 15-20% of greenhouse gas emissions.

"For $10-15bn (£4.8-7.2bn) per year, a programme could be constructed that could stop up to half the deforestation," he said.

There also needs to be urgent promotion of rapid technological advance for climate change mitigation, said Sir Nicholas.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) for coal is particularly urgent since coal-fired electric power is currently the dominant technology round the world and emerging nations will be investing heavily in these technologies, he said.

"For $5bn a year, in terms of feed-in tariffs (which could be reduced as carbon prices rise), it should be possible to create 30 commercial scale coal-fired CCS stations within seven or eight years. Unless the rich world demonstrates, and quickly, that CCS works, developing countries cannot be expected to commit to this technology."

The final plank in Sir Nicholas's action plan is for rich countries to honour their commitments to 0.7% of GDP in aid by 2015. This would yield increases in flows of $150-200bn per year. The extra costs developing countries face as a result of climate change are likely to be upwards of $80bn per year and it is vital that extra resources are available for new initiatives.

Sir Nicholas argued that this global deal invokes effectiveness, efficiency and equity.

"The problem is deeply inequitable with the rich countries having caused the bulk of current stocks of greenhouse gases and the poor countries being hit earliest and hardest - which means that the rich countries must take the lead," he said.

"Within different countries, there will be different choices of instruments - such as taxes, trading and standards - and different technological mixes.

"In all countries, there is scope for energy efficiency, which both reduces emissions and saves money. But trading must be a central part of the story because it can provide the international incentives for participation, and promote efficiency and equity, while controlling quantities of emissions."


Anonymous said...

It has still not been demonstrated that climate change is all manmade and not a natural cyclical phenomena. Na├»ve scar mongers cry ‘global warming’ when it’s hot, when it’s cold, when it rains, when it doesn’t.

Taking some of the points in your post – i.e. “The first involves rich countries reducing their greenhouse emissions by at least 80% - either directly or through trading schemes - in order that the overall 50% reduction in global emissions by 2050 is met” – by ‘rich’ I assume China is included within this bold statement? - a country undergoing its industrial revolution just like Britain did for which we enjoyed the fruits and ignored the smog – it is unrealistic to think that China will ‘go green’ for another fifty years.

"For $10-15bn (£4.8-7.2bn) per year, a programme could be constructed that could stop up to half the deforestation," he said – the idea of chucking Brazil a load of money to stop cutting down trees is a pipe dream that would involve a collaboration of countries whom are fundamentally opposed to propping up another’s development at the expense of their own industries.

Brazil has a thriving nascent aviation industry competing with the US and Europe – don’t expect the dirty Americans, Chinese, Italians, French or Germans to save a Brazilian tree. The only idiots stupid enough to cough up their tax payers money in preference to spending it on their own people is Britain but that no doubt is good enough for the Green Party who apparently would like everyone to share our ever shrinking cake.

Anonymous said...

Leading by example if very respectable yet pointless if it is detrimental to you whilst being disregarded by the people you’re trying to persuade.

Britain’s contribution to any atmospheric temperature increase is so negligible that hobbling our industry by making it less financially competitive against the Americans, the Australians, the Chinese, the Indians, The Vietnamese and the Brazilians et al is pointless.

Even those responsible for the previous doom and gloom about climate change have now admitted that their made up guesswork is wrong.

Stick on a hat and enjoy more barbeques.

Adrian Windisch said...

Thats a quote from Stern, from 2007, as stated clearly in the post. He is now saying he didnt go far enough in 2007.

Some are still in denial about climate change, if they were serious they would read up on the science.

Anonymous said...

Do you remember the snow in the 60s? Do you remember the heatwave in the 70s? Do you remember the winds in the 80s?

Throughout time it's been hotter, colder, wetter, drier and windier - all seem perfect evidence to some that climate change is man made and getting worse with no chance of it ever being right again?

What weather is right?