Thursday, November 13, 2014

US-China Climate Agreement

This is an absolutely stunning agreement. It is the best news for international action on climate change in nearly 20 years, since the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.

Of course it leaves Australia absolutely out on our own, like a shag on a rock. Europe is acting, the US is acting, China is acting, the small Pacific nations are screaming for action.

Australia is turning into an international bludger on climate change; scrapping the carbon price, white anting the Renewable Energy Target, shooting messengers like the Climate Commission, and trying to keep climate change off the agenda of the G20 talks in Brisbane. Talk about lifters and leaners. We want everyone else to lift, just not us!

Republican Mitch McConnell says the agreement doesn’t require China to do anything for the next 15 years. That this kind of wilful ignorance passes for political debate in the US today goes a long way towards explaining why so few Americans turn out to vote in Congressional elections. Apparently Mr McConnell is the Republican Leader, so he is supposed to be the brightest of them! God knows what that says about the others!

China has agreed to ramp up its renewable energy target by 1/3rd, over 30%, compared to its previous offer. This will build a massive solar PV industry.

Second, it has agreed to level out its emissions by 2030. Given that its emissions accounted for 70% of the global increase in emissions in 2012, this is a huge turnaround. It is a world away from the sabotage they engaged in at Copenhagen, which I strongly criticised at the time.

I repeat, this is the best news on international action to tackle climate change in nearly 20 years, since the Kyoto Protocol.

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