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Berlin, Paris and London call for deeper CO2 cuts

AFP · 15 Jul 2010, 12:59

Published: 15 Jul 2010 12:59 GMT+02:00

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Ministers from Europe's three biggest economies made the exceptional move in a commentary published by the Financial Times, the Frankfurter Allgemeine and Le Monde.

"If we stick to a 20-percent cut, Europe is likely to lose the race to compete in the low-carbon world to countries such as China, Japan or the US - all of which are looking to create a more attractive environment for low-carbon investment," they warned.

The commentary was written by German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, his French counterpart Jean-Louis Borloo and Chris Huhne, the British climate change secretary.

Alone among the major economies, the EU has vowed to cut its emissions of man-made heat trapping gases by 20 percent by 2020 over 1990, the benchmark

year used in UN climate negotiations.

The EU has until now offered to go to a cut of 30 percent if other industrialised powers follow suit. The proposal was put on the table, but not reciprocated, at December's world climate talks in Copenhagen.

The joint commentary did not specifically suggest that the 30 percent should be a unilateral initiative, saying only that the EU "should raise its emissions target." Achieving emissions cuts carries an economic cost in order to achieve greater energy efficiency and switch to cleaner sources.

In May, proposals by the European Commission to deepen the target to 30 percent were resisted by the Brussels business lobby on the grounds of cost, and by French and German economy ministers, who defended the previous policy of a quid pro quo.

Röttgen, Borloo and Huhne said that a 30-percent cut would not only help meet the international target of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). It would also spur green investment by boosting the cost of carbon

pollution, they said.

Carbon traded in the European emissions market had fallen by 11 percent from pre-crisis levels, a price judged too low to stimulate capital in green jobs and technologies.

Story continues below…

"Because of reduced emissions in the recession, the annual costs in 2020 of meeting the existing 20 percent target are down a third from €70 billion ($89 billion) to €48 billion," the trio said.

"A move up to 30 percent is now estimated to cost only €11 billion more than the original cost of achieving a 20 percent reduction. Furthermore, these costs were calculated on the conservative assumption that oil will cost $88 a barrel in 2020.

"Given the current constraints on supply-side investment, rapid growth in consumption in Asia, and the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, oil prices may well rise further. Under one IEA (International Energy Agency) scenario, the price could reach a nominal 130 dollars a barrel," they said.

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Your comments about this article

16:11 July 15, 2010 by derExDeutsche
Thank God the Govt. Agencies are talking about Global Warming/Climate Change/Carbon Credits.

Now that they have, along with the IPCC, called for a Media Silence from their own Scientists, the Govt.s will obviously have to pick up the slack! And than God for that!

The people are so stupid, they can't understand the science. So stupid, they can't understand the media.

Thank God our Govt.s care so much about the Environment.
17:08 July 16, 2010 by deutschamer
It is a fact that CO2 absorbs infrared (IR) energy and re-emits it, some in the direction of the earth surface, and some toward outer space. It can be shown mathematically that for every doubling of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, the average global temperature will increase by 1.2 degrees C for a completely static atmosphere with no convection or clouds. With this increase, the CO2 could double many times with no serious consequences.

But as we know, the atmosphere is not static. It is a very complex system. So the question is, does the complex climate system dampen out the effect of increased CO2 concentration (negative feedback) or does it amplify the effect of increased CO2 (positive feedback). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that the climate system provides positive feedback to the increase in CO2 concentrations. They claim that the average global temperature will increase anywhere from 3-6 degrees C for each doubling of CO2 concentration.

The climate is way to complicated to be able to do a closed form calculation as can be done with a static atmosphere, so the IPCC uses computer climate models to simulate the future based on various scenarios of CO2 increases. The problem is, their models have so far failed to predict the future accurately out a decade or so. They then "fix" their models and say ok now the models are more accurate. A decade or so later, the models still failed to predict, and so they fix the models again.

The average global temperature has increased about 1 degree C in the last 150 years. Big deal. Of course the IPCC says that increase will accelerate based on their computer models

The current heat wave in Europe is weather, not climate. Weather is often at extremes. It says nothing about average global temperature.

For those who have worked in industry as scientists and engineers, the climate scientists appear to be amateurish. They do not have adequate quality assurance or configuration management of their databases or analytical processes. They do not have a rigorous oversight process by truly independent experts. For governments to be taking drastic action for something as uncertain as global warming is absurd. The science is not settled. Some would have you believe it is as settled as the fact that the earth is round, i.e. a sphere. That is a lie that upsets many like myself.
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