Tech Central Station coverage of the 11th annual Convention on Climate Change
- Dec 6, 2005: This Market Is Sending a Signal
Ultimately, Europe's experience with a CO2 market is sending the world a signal about just how hard and costly it will be to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
- Dec 7, 2005: More Than One Best Way
At a press conference, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change discussed its report, Climate Dialogue at Pocantico, calling for a more flexible international framework allowing countries to take on different types of climate commitments. The report recognizes that most developing countries see increased energy use as essential for their economic growth and will not join the current cap-and-trade system for carbon control embodied in the Kyoto Protocol. In order to get developing countries involved in addressing global warming, Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center, called for the launching of a high level dialogue outside the current climate negotiations. As envisioned by the Pew Center's report, this new dialogue would involve the 25 countries that account for 83 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, 71 percent of the world's population and 86 percent of the world's GDP. The Pew Center's Eliot Diringer proposed that like-minded countries could form agreements along different tracks that would address potential climate change.
It turns out that the AP6 is already a jumpstart on the sort of parallel process being proposed by Pew. The AP6 partners constitute 45 percent of the world's population, account for 49 percent of the world's economy, consume 48 percent of the world's energy, and produce 48 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. And once the AP6 partners adopt a charter and finalize a work program at the ministerial meeting next month, Dr. Shin noted that the founding countries will consider ways to include other interested countries.
- Dec 7, 2005: An Unethical Environment?
I've been thinking a lot lately about people who – despite living in industrialized countries – find affluence and the associated consumption of natural resources troubling. By their lights, wealthy countries like the US are the world's principle consumers – unfairly rich, winners of life's lottery, polluters of the environment and so on. They claim that rich countries wish to "impose" their way of life on the rest of the world.
It is imperative that people understand what is necessary for the well being of humanity as a whole: political, personal, and economic freedom to do as one chooses. Just as technology has solved past problems as they have arisen, so economic growth will lead to new energy technologies that reduce the risk of global warming. But these solutions will only come about when people are left free to generate the wealth that will be required to invest in the development of these new technologies.
- Dec 8, 2005: Culture shock in Montreal
As one of the very few scientists at the UN's eleventh Conference of the Parties climate meeting (COP-11), I feel like an outsider. That's because I am. The army of thousands in attendance (international delegates, NGOs, and all manner of stakeholders in the climate change issue), have little interest in knowing how certain or uncertain the science of global warming is. All these people know - or need to know - is that the "glaciers are melting," it's getting "hotter every year", and "climate change is killing people now" (all of these are direct quotes from presenters).