Emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are thought to be responsible for the elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that are thought to be driving global warming. The Kyoto Protocol has been considered an important first step in reducing emissions with European nations agreeing to cap emissions under a trading scheme that kicked off in January last year.
But with Germany wanting to exempt coal (!) and the United Kingdom probably emitting about 92 percent more methane than it declares on top of the price tumble of late April, Kyoto doesn’t seem to be working.
This is how the Herald Tribune in a piece titled ‘Germany to Reduce Carbon Curbs’ reports Germany’s intentions to exempt coal:
“The conservative leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and her Social Democratic coalition partners agreed to cut the emissions limit by nearly 3.4 percent, but at the same time the cabinet has given an exemption to all new power plants, including coal, one of the worst industrial pollutants.
By allowing the power industry to opt out until 2022 before joining a program in which companies are given permits for emitting up to a certain amount of carbon dioxide and giving the permits free of charge, critics said the Merkel government was undermining EU efforts to combat climate change.”
Surely whoever is setting the rules for carbon trading in Europe won’t let the German’s get away with this?
A couple of weeks ago there was an article in New Scientist title ‘Kyoto promises are nothing but hot air’ in which Fred Pearce explained how Britain was not being honest with its emissions accounting:
“Under Kyoto, each government calculates how much carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide its country emits by adding together estimated emissions from individual sources. These so-called “bottom-up” estimates have long been accepted by atmospheric scientists, even though they have never been independently audited.
Now two teams that have monitored concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere say they have convincing evidence that the figures reported by many countries are wrong, especially for methane. Among the worst offenders are the UK, which may be emitting 92 per cent more methane than it declares under the Kyoto protocol, and France, which may be emitting 47 per cent more.”
It would seem the UK and Germany are treating Kyoto as something of a game in which it is OK to bend the rules and even cheat a bit?
But there are implications and not only for the environment. Robert Watts explained in an article title ‘Carbon Trading Leaves a Nasty Smell’ in the UK Telegraph last Sunday that Kyoto is costing hospitals:
“Open Europe’s report highlights the little-known fact that almost 150 schools, universities, military bases and even some prisons have also been obliged to sign up to the [carbon trading] scheme because they have a power station or boiler with a capacity of 20MW or more.
Whereas most private sector organisations have surpluses [of carbon credits], the opposite is true of organisations in the public sector. As a result, many hospitals, universities and army bases have been forced to buy carbon credits from businesses to meet their allocation targets.
Our tables show that, while some companies are making millions of pounds, a huge amount of taxpayers’ money is being spent buying carbon credits from the private sector. Open Europe estimates that this astonishing situation will cost the NHS [National Health System] about £1.3m a year between 2005 and 2008.”
While Kyoto hasn’t delivered much for hospitals or the environment in Europe, according to ABC Online Greenpeace is trying to force the concepts on South Australia and New South Wales.
This is the second blog piece in which I have suggested Kyoto is turning into a game for cheats, click here for the piece written a month or so ago.
The IHT’s publishing partnerships are:
In Israel – Haaretz, Israel’s quality daily.
In Greece – Kathimerini, Greece’s quality daily
In South Korea – JoongAng Daily.
In Japan – Asahi Shimbun.
In Lebanon – The Daily Star.
In Spain – El País.
Egypt – The Daily Star Egypt
Thailand – ThaiDay
Russia – The Moscow Times
cmon you have to be kidding..
lol and you question why i ask whos paying you
Dennis Webb says
Con, Do you think the New York Times is part of the same conspiracy? The following quote is from
“The German cabinet decided to exclude the coal industry from the European Union’s carbon trading program, under which companies must buy permits before they can release higher-than-mandated levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The move could persuade other countries to loosen their controls, critics said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, a Conservative, and her Social Democratic coalition partners agreed to cut Germany’s emissions limit by nearly 3.4 percent from 2008 to 2012. But critics said the reductions would be ineffectual if coal — a source of some of the worst industrial pollutants — is excluded.”
Con like a true beleiver makes no sense at all. who is he attacking , or maybe defending?
Business Online report that the US frozen CO2 production when “signatories of the Kyoto Protocol are conceding that they cannot meet their own targets, according to official figures released last week.”
“Since 1997, when the Kyoto Protocol was first signed, the US has now made more progress in reducing its per capita fossil fuel emissions than the UK, France, Spain, Finland, Sweden and Japan – even before its economic growth is considered.”
Ian Mott says
Another interesting spin on the Kyoto targets is that Australia is a net source of migrants from mainly Kyoto signatories while the rest are from third world exempt nations.
And if our population is increasing by almost 1% a year because of that immigration programme then why were we not allowed to transfer the so-called greenhouse emissions from the source countries?
Ditto for the USA and Canada as major destination countries for migrants, particularly from Kyoto signatories.
The AGO was grossly negligent in not placing this item firmly on the agenda as we rightly acquire the emission quota of each new arrival for a 2010 quota of circa 120% of 1990 emissions.