„Under attack“ or justified critique?
Today, one of my most favourite website these days, the COP-15 website, had an article „The Kyoto Protocol is under fire“. I was clicking on it, expecting a return of George W., a new Umbrella-Group proposal or the EU supporting CCS – but what was meant was merely a critique on flexible mechanisms in a danish newspaper. This critique is good, important and rigth, I think. Read the article (below) for your self and have a thought on it – is the Kyoto Protocol really „under attack“?
The Kyoto Protocol is under fire
The „cap-and-trade“ schemes, which allow countries to trade allowances and permits for emitting carbon dioxide, is heavily criticized these days at the Copenhagen University conference „Climate change“.
Leading climate scientists criticize the international emissions trading system – one of the cornerstones in the Kyoto Protocol – that is likely to be reinforced at UN climate talks in Copenhagen this December.
„It takes about 10 years to negotiate it and get all the countries on board, and then you make all sort of compromises, so it turns out to be very ineffectual,“ says climate scientist James Hansen in an interview with AFP. Hansen has been Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies since 1981.
Only a direct tax on fossil fuels as close to the source as possible would succeed in stopping the rise of emissions, the scientist says.
„A carbon tax is the mechanism that allows you to make an international agreement globally effective in a short period of time. You could start with the EU, United States and China – that would be enough,“ he tells AFP.
When other nations are confronted with a carbon-tax on their exports they would quickly follow suit, he argues.
Criticism is directed also at the so-called CDM projects where developed countries can meet their obligations by reducing emissions in developing countries through technology projects.
„There is no way we can verify that these projects are delivering real reductions,“ says William Nordhaus, American Professor of Economics from University of California, Berkeley according to the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende. He strongly recommends giving up the Kyoto model in favor of a system with prices on carbon emissions.
„Greenhouse gases are a market failure that people do not pay for. This must be changed, so we get a price on greenhouse gases,“ Nordhaus tells Berlingske Tidende.