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486Re: WorldTransport Forum The United States and global warming: a tale of two countries

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  • Michael Yeates
    Apr 30, 2005
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      While the total GHG production from Australia is very small, the GHG per capita is high.

      Australia has created an option to allow INCREASES in GHG while committing to Kyoto "principles".

      Accordingly, it might be useful to include an assessment of Australia's "commitment" to Kyoto from a global policy perspective.

      We do (claim to) have specific reasons for justifying increased GHG production.

      But does Australia's position then provide the option for others to also argue their specific case(s)?

      If there are specific justifications, then should efforts to REDUCE GHG in other areas eg transport, energy efficiency, solar energy, etc be REQUIRED to be demonstrated rather than self-reported?

      In Southeast Queensland, a major 20 year infrastructure plan has recently been released. It sets in place the future trends.

      There is no mention of any assessment of GHG increases nor of possible oil depletion. It is a "vision" of more of the same.

      These plans to "encourage" another million people to SEQ can be found at www.oum.qld.gov.au/  see Southeast Queensland Regional Plan and Southeast Queensland Infrastructure Plan.

      This type of "future planning" will continue locally and globally if international (ie external) scrutiny is not brought to bare on those ignoring global policy concerns.

      As an example, I recall being advised that Australian coal can be landed in Austria as a fuel for electricity that is cheaper than hydro.

      Hence as with the USA, Australia is not employing available solutions/technologies at any useful or committed level but is particularly interested in promoting and relying on sequestration technologies ... for example, see the following and explore their sources and links :

      www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/ausenv.html
      www.plantations2020.com.au/environment /carbon.html

      Perhaps Australia's role in undermining Kyoto is already being ignored ? Perhaps more should be known about it ?

      Michael Yeates


      At 09:34 PM 30/04/2005, Eric Britton wrote:

      From Kyoto Cities Blog at http://kyotocities.org for this date.  Have you had a look at the Kyoto World Cities 20/20 Challenge program thus far?
      *************************************************************************
      Editor’s note: More in this excellent series, The politics of climate change, published by openDemocracy Ltd developed in partnership with the British Council as part of their ZeroCarbonCity initiative. For the full series go to http://www.opendemocracy.net/climate_change/index.jsp
      .
      The United States and global warming: a tale of two countries
       
      Alden Meyer, 29 - 4 - 2005

       Source: http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article-6-129-2469.jsp
       
      The challenge of global climate change forces the world to ask: what to do about the
      United States? Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists says: ignore the Bush administration and get on with business.
      To have a fighting chance to keep global warming within safe levels, industrialised countries must reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases by 80% below 2000 levels by 2050 – and we must begin to make those reductions right away. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Europe, Japan, and other industrialised countries have committed to start making modest cuts in their emissions, and have acknowledged the need for much deeper cuts in the years ahead.
      In stark contrast, US emissions are projected to increase 14% over the next decade, and the administration of President George W Bush has made it crystal clear that it will not engage in negotiations – or even informal discussions – about mandatory emissions limits.
      President Bush has proposed no meaningful alternative to
      Kyoto. His voluntary, business-as-usual approach is heavy on long-term technology research, but ignores the tremendous potential of currently available clean energy technologies to cut global warming pollution right now.
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