May 25, 2008

UN Climate Change Process Going Backwards

We understand that New Zealand's Climate Change Ambassador Adrian Macey held a briefing for stakeholders on the UN negotiations on an agreement to replace Kyoto I. (Regular readers of The Hive will know that we are somewhat critical of the way in which Kyoto I was negotiated by New Zealand. Adrian Macey was not involved in anyway in this negotiation. Of all the officials around the climate change space in Wellington right now Macey is the one we rate most highly).

The last round of negotiations was in Macey's old stomping ground Bangkok. They did not go well, indeed Macey's assessment was that things had gone backwards. Surprise, surprise, it looks even more unlikely that the UN negotiations will meet the timetable set at Bali late last year.

This is a pity as the climate change problem can only be solved by international action - NZ, at less than 0.2% of global emissions can't solve things unilaterally. It is for this reason that we favour increased resources going into the international process.

This likely delay in the international process is a further reason why we think we should take the foot of the emissions trading regime accelerator and introduce a carbon tax. Once the outcome of the international process is known then we can resume efforts to design a domestic regime compatible with the new international norm.