Oct 31, 2008

Chances For Climate Deal Vanish


China raised the price of its co-operation in the world's climate change talks yesterday by calling for developed countries to spend 1 per cent of their domestic product helping poorer nations cut greenhouse gas emissions. The funding - amounting to more than $300bn based on Group of Seven countries - would be spent largely on the transfer of "green" technologies, such as renewable energy, to poorer countries.
--Geoff Dyer and Fiona Harvey, Financial Times, 29 October 2008

The new U.S. president will be under pressure from industry not to jeopardise US finances. Under China's proposals, the US would have to give more than $130bn and the European Union more than $160bn to technology transfer.
--Geoff Dyer and Fiona Harvey, Financial Times, 29 October 2008

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday complained that the western nations have not lived up to their commitments for technology transfer and additional financing since the Rio Conference in 1992. "We should call upon our European partners to do more in this regard. The developing world is committed to doing its share," Singh said.
--The Times of India, 25 October 2008

As a result of promoting environmental alarmism, Western governments find themselves trapped in a perilous, yet largely self-constructed catch. As long as climate change is elevated as the principal liability of industrial countries, as long as Western CO2 emissions are blamed for exacerbating natural disasters, death and destruction around the globe, green pressure groups and officials from the developing world will continue to insist that the West is liable to recompense its exorbitant carbon debt by way of wealth transfer and financial compensation. Unless the industrial nations are prepared to sacrifice a substantial fraction of their wealth and economic stability, it is extremely unlikely that a new climate treaty will be agreed upon in the foreseeable future. While rich countries will put the blame squarely at the door of their Asian competitors, much of the rest of the world is likely to point the finger at Western greediness and intransigence. In this way, the global warming scare is creating a lose-lose situation for the West which is causing lasting damage to its standing, influence and economic strength.
--Benny Peiser, Financial Post, 8 April 2008

The Italian government on Tuesday said it would stick to its opposition to an EU climate plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by a fifth by 2020, saying it would be too harmful for industry. "This would be untenable for our production, particularly in light of the current global economic crisis," it said.
--Reuters, 28 October 2008

I fear that the Climate Change Bill will end in political tears, when the targets are missed stratospherically, when the lights go out in the UK, when our economic competitiveness is undermined, and when the climate fails to behave as predicted by our politicians. If and when these outcomes occur, the electorate should not be generous. They must hold the sheep to account as lambs to the slaughter.
--Philip Stott, Global Warming Politics, 28 October 2008

Investors in renewable energy stocks have seen their sector hit hard in recent weeks on concerns that tightening credit and a weak global economy could arrest growth of the high-flying industry despite its long-term promise. Solar stocks, considered the darlings of alternative energy for their meteoric rise in 2007, have retreated so much this year that most have given back the triple-digit gains they logged last year.
--Reuters, 29 October 2008

European carbon prices collapsed to their lowest levels for 18-months on Monday as the market was flooded with industrial sellers from across Europe.
--Point Carbon, 27 October 2008