Several Steps Forward on Climate
In addition to the release of the IPCC Fourth Assessment, 1st volume summary which essentially declares complete confidence (>90%) that humans are causing climate change with grave impacts, there have been a number of other positive steps in climate policy this week. There has been a seashift in Australian climate policy with the Howard government on the hotseat literally for a bereft climate policy over the years, and now the disasterous “big dry” drought. Under pressure with a new election looming, Howard's government is proposing a carbon trading system – which before you get too excited, apparently would not cap emissions. But along with China indicating they are setting up a carbon market, and with California talking hooking up with Europe's carbon market, the prospects of global carbon market in the next couple years looms large. Brazil's Lula along with China laid the blame for climate disruption where it belongs, at the developed nation's feet. Jacque Chirac's call for an emergency global summit on climate, supported by some 46 countries, appears likely. Such a summit must seek to get all countries to cap emissions with special allowances for developing countries to have easier caps and more time in order to not lock in carbon emission disparities between the rich and poor. With the science settled, there has also started to be even more discussion of climate change solutions and their implementation, where the focus should shift like a laser beam. Perhaps this was the week where the World started getting their act together on equitable mandatory climate emission reductions. They can not come soon enough.