Jun 15, 2008

Why A Global Agreement With Comprehensive Coverage Is Essential To Solve The Climate Change Problem

While we tie ourselves up in knots about who will pay the bill for our badly negotiated Kyoto I commitments, and how we can do something about our 0.2% contribution to this global problem we seem to have lost sight completely of the big picture. Yes, New Zealand must be responsible and do its thing, but what we do is irrelevant if the big emitters keep growing their emissions.

The chances are that the US will take on commitments in the next version of Kyoto, but is the US the biggest emitter? No.

This article from the New York Times reports on a new study which demonstrates that China is the world's biggest emitter and that China's emissions grew 8% last year. This equates to 66% of the increase in global emissions.

It is for this reason we think that we should be putting more effort into the global process. We need an agreement that has China agreeing to make commitments to control the growth in, or preferably reduce its emissions. That doesn't stop developed countries moving first or moving further and faster, but we can't have the world's biggest emitter continuing to expand emissions at this pace.