It’s an article by Bjorn Lomborg claiming that focusing on cutting EU carbon
emissions by 2020/2050 is the wrong move.
Bjorn Lomborg makes two important points here which I would take issue with:
1) That because we are cutting carbon emissions we will stagnate economically
And 2) That whatever we do in Europe it won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things vis a vis climate change
On point one, just because we cut carbon (as it is traditionally linked to growth) that doesn’t mean we’ll become poorer in the EU.
As lower carbon technologies take hold growth and carbon will become increasingly decoupled.
The old model is far more true for the emerging economies than in the developed nations. He is right about R&D spending by EU nations though (remember the Lisbon Agenda?), it is way too low.
The UK is the test case here, due to our ‘leading’ 2050 committments. Recession may stymie this needed R&D spending growth, we will find out soon enough.
And on point two, Lomborg may be right ( I don’t know enough about his cited research to comment on it) but he neglects to value leadership on climate change.
This is where the American ‘we will if you will’ approach prevents progress. The EU and US caused most of the climate change problem. We need to show leadership in fixing it. Simple as that.
Details like technology transfer and reductions counting and audits are just as important, but none of that will happen unless the EU continues to lead.
As Lomborg argues, we must wean ourselves off fossil fuels anyhow. If the money can be re-allocated from areas of wastage, over spend and energy company excessive profits, going much lower carbon means leading the world in re-aligning the EU’s economy, it doesn’t have to mean economic stagnation.
Now, if only the politicians could grasp that and sell it to the voters. Nothing is impossible.