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Watch: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon criticizes G8 climate efforts

During the G8 the world leaders failed to agree on specific targets for climate cuts. They only agreed on “substantially reduce” global emissions by 2050, without any legally binding targets or a roadmap. The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon criticizes the G8 climate outcome and says it’s “not sufficient”, and that “much more needs to be done” if the world is to be able to agree on a new climate agreement during the climate talks in Copenhagen later this year.

"The time for delays and half-measures is over. The personal leadership of every Head of State or Government is needed to seize this moment to protect people and the planet from one of the most serious challenges ever to confront humanity."

Ban Ki-moon warned in a statement, issued shortly after the G8 climate meetings, that if the world’s leaders “fail to act this year, they will have squandered a unique historical opportunity that may not come again”. But the Secretary General did welcome the G8 long term goal to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. But said that for it to be credible it requires “ambitious mid-term targets” and “clear baselines”.

“In order to achieve such a global goal, developed countries must lead by example in making firm commitments to reduce their emissions by 2020 on the order of the 25 - 40 per cent below 1990 levels that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) tells us is required. It is disappointing to note that thus far, the mid-term emission targets announced by developed countries in the MEF are not in this range.

Every country must do its part, based on the principle of equity. Developing countries also need to contribute by undertaking national efforts to mitigate emissions that are nationally appropriate, measurable, reportable and verifiable.

Developing countries need funding and technology assistance. Funding is also needed to assist vulnerable developing countries adapt to the harmful effects of climate change.

We stand at a historical crossroads. Business as usual is no longer viable.”

Green Blog twittered during the G8 meetings and you can read all the "tweets" here.

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Well Mr Moon might have a point,

but there is no doubt that emission reduction could be much simpler, and thereby easier to agree on!

Sufficient first phase 2020/2030 emission reduction is achieved by acting on ELECTRICITY generation (coal, gas) and TRANSPORT (mainly automobiles) alone, since these 2 sectors typically (as in the USA) account for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The focus on electricity and transport gives several advantages:

1. Local environmental benefit from less pollution of sulphur and all else that’s in the emissions, regardless of the less certain or immediate global benefit from CO2 reduction.

2. Electricity supply alternatives which together with improved grid distribution gives better competition and keeps down electricity bills for consumers.

3. Transport alternatives (using electricity, hydrogen and other energy sources), which give variety of choice and competition advantages for consumers, additionally reducing the dependency on oil imports.

4. No trade problems: Unlike Cap and Trade, which involves cement, steel and other industries having to face imports from unregulated countries, the here suggested electricity and transport changes are not just more limited, but also largely local. Since there is little competition between say utility companies internationally, "best practice" results can be compared and shared.

Funding and Impact

Equity and long term loan finance can be used: Long term industrial loans from financial institutions, particularly if federal/state guaranteed, give low yearly interest repayments and lessen the effect on electricity bills or transport cost.

Compare with

today’s all-encompassing Cap and Trade (emission trading) suggestions, with unpredictability, expense, and needless disruption from normal business practice on one hand, or unnecessary profiteering from free allowance handouts with little actual emission reduction on the other hand - together with extensive -and unnecessary- regulation on what people can or can’t buy and use.

Understanding why proposed Cap and Trade is bad, in USA and elsewhere


Basic Idea — Offsets — Tree Planting — Manufacture Shift — Fair Trade — Surreal Market — Real Market — Allowances: Auctions + Hand-Outs — Allowance Trading — Companies: Business Stability + Business Cost — In Conclusion

The Way Forward


Introduction — Funding and Impact —No Energy Efficiency Regulation — A New Electric World

Electricity Generation — Distribution

Transport Power Generation — Regulation — Taxation

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