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Next Move on Stern Warning

  • November 11th, 2006
  • Posted by 7thmin

dimas-stern-91106.jpeThe European Union has got behind the initiative last month of Sir Nicholas Stern, the former World Bank Chief Economist commissioned by the British government to report on climate change.

A panel of more than fifty senior European economists has signed a joint declaration, to ally themselves with Stern’s findings, that immediate action is needed to combat global warming.

On the occasion of the declaration being made public, at Brussels, there was some criticism also, of America and Australia, over global warming policies.

Representatives of this very senior group from leading universities and other research centres described themselves as covering the range of conservative, liberal and radical opinion.

They have agreed that any delay will mean a multiplication of costs, with impacts in the world economy like the Great Depression.

They have specifically endorsed the European Emission Trading Scheme being implemented by the European Union.

It is strategic support for the principle of carbon trading: a plan under the Kyoto agreement, for pollution from carbon fuels, like coal or oil, to be limited by government quota. Polluters, literally, have to pay for the waste they create.

An organiser for the panel, Dr Stephan Singer, predicted that Australia and the United States would soon have to give up resistance to Kyoto and join-in with this carbon trading.

The Head of the European Climate and Energy Unit, of the Wordlwide Fund for Nature – WWF, he said political change in the United States, with the Democratic Party now controlling Congress, would make the difference – especially with the election of new chairpersons to Congressional committees.

“I think we have seen the first step of regime change in the US … On top of that the only Governor who was campaigning on climate change was Arnold Schwarzenegger and he won more than 60% in California. That’s a sign that the American public, the electorate is taking climate change seriously and wants US action.

“They want a cap, that’s our strong belief, and we have seen nominations for the environment committees, where the candidates are for the US taking credible, reliable and transparent action for combating climate change,” he said.

“We also see I would say melt-down within the Republican Party. I think it is clear that whoever becomes the next President will bring the United States back within the context of the United Nations, international negotiations and a cap on US emissions.

“Australia, I am sorry to be blunt here, we’ve been saying that the Australian Prime Minister Howard is a poodle of Bush.

“I think, in case the US government will change this position, the Australian government, with or without Howard will also change in the end. We need the change in America and then Australia will change.”

Dr Stern said the new European Emissions Trading Scheme, for carbon waste, was a good start, although scientists considered even quotas of carbon gas which it proposed, were still too low.

Other representatives of the signatories on hand, to argue that on best current research, carbon trading had become the best practical option: Professor Michael Grubb, University of Cambridge, and Dr Ottmar Edenhofer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact research.

The European Environment Commissioner, Stavros Dimas, said the endorsement of the Emissions Trading Scheme was a substantial follow-on to the major impact of the Stern report, in the international community.

Picture: European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas receiving Sir Nicholas Stern at Brussels, 9.11.06; European Commission.

Reference:

CLIMATE STRATEGOIRS: eu Emnissiomns trading scheme; key poiutns oin proposed sallocations for Phase II (Kyoto period , 2008-12), Eiropean commission, 9.11.06.

Climate Strategies Researtch reports, www.climate-strategies.org, 9.11.06

Euripean Union ETS and Climate Strategies analysis, further reports, [email protected]

Press Rel;ase: European Ecomonists and WWF call for stronger EU carbon market. World Wide Fund for Nnature (WWF) European Policy Office, Brussels. 9.11.06. www.panda.org/eu

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