Here’s a new form of climate control. Red-tape. Count the laws for the climate!
[ScienceDaily] London School of Economics (LSE)
Three-quarters of the world’s annual emissions of greenhouse gases are now limited by national targets, according to a new study published today (1 June 2015) by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science.
Obviously, it’s all taken care of then, and we don’t need to do any more? We’ll just hound and hassle the last few stragglers who haven’t set a limit. But wait… despite the heart warming momentum implied there, apparently this global circle of covenants might not save the world. Oh No! Is there a chance these nations won’t deliver? The sad truth makes a brief appearance in paragraph four: The pledges are unlikely to be “consistent” (read, they’re “inadequate, empty wishes”). Red tape, it seems, will not stop heatwaves exactly, but provides atmospheric things called “confidence” and “credibility”, “opportunity” and “ambition”. But the 75% “limit” makes for a good headline.
The Grantham Research Institute speaks. Your job is to figure out what they are saying:
Lead author of the study, Michal Nachmany, said: “With three-quarters of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions now covered by national targets, we can be more confident about the credibility of the pledges that countries will make ahead of the crucial United Nations summit in Paris in December this year. While collectively these pledges are unlikely to be consistent with the international goal of avoiding global warming of more than 2 centigrade degrees, the existence of national legislation and policies should provide the opportunity for countries to strengthen the ambition of their emissions cuts after the summit.”
It’s laws for the climate then
The study also found that the 98 countries and the European Union together had 804 climate laws and policies at the end of 2014, compared with 426 in 2009, when a previous attempt was made in Copenhagen, Denmark, to reach an international agreement. In 1997, when the Kyoto Protocol was agreed, these countries had just 54 climate laws and policies between them.
Study that success. This is what a 15 fold increase in climate laws has achieved:
How many laws do we need to reduce global temperatures by one degree?
Professor Fankhauser said: “Every five or so years the number of climate laws and policies across the world has doubled. [Moore's Law of Laws? thinks Jo] This growing amount of legislation provides evidence that the world’s major emitters are taking serious steps to tackle climate change in their countries. By writing their intentions into law, the world’s leaders have shown that international climate change talks do lead to national action in the vast majority of countries.”
But maybe all laws are not created equally? One country that has lowered emissions significantly is the US. It may have plenty of laws but there was no national trading scheme, and no signing of Kyoto. Yet those emissions fell…
But it was never about actually limiting CO2 anyhow. It’s about “seeming” to do so in Paris. What matters is getting a global carbon market ripe with broker fees, loopholes, and rewards to friends.