THE big climate change conference in Poznan, Poland, ended yesterday with a recognition that the United Nations was “softening its tone” and acknowledging that the meeting would not come to final decisions on any major issues on “fighting climate change”.
Perhaps now is the time to move away from the idea that the solution to “fighting climate change” lies with a cap on emissions – an idea that has been pushed so hard by the United Nations.
Perhaps now is the time to consider alternatives?
On Thursday the ‘Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change’ launched a report* by London-based economist Julian Morris imploring governments to recognise that instead of capping emissions they should be looking to adapt to climate change and also provide incentives to develop lower-carbon technologies.
At the launch of the report, Professor Morris said, “A cap on emissions of carbon would do little to protect humanity against the threat of climate change but would drastically increase the threat of global economic catastrophe… to agree to cap carbon emissions in the near term would be economic lunacy… slowing economic growth and harming the ability of the poor to address the real problems they face every day, such as diseases, water scarcity and inadequate nutrition.”
Prof. Morris pointed out that only a few European governments are now pushing strongly for a new global cap and they are doing so because their own policies are causing economic pain.
Economist Nonoy Oplas, echoing Professor Morris’ plea, wrote yesterday: “It is true that there is climate change. The same way that people change, cars and mobile phones change, sports and culture change, cities and communities change, the world and its geography change. Sunspots and solar rays change, expansion or contraction of the universe change, and earthquake belts change. So do climate change. And there are dozens of different factors that contribute to climate change, not just humanity’s economic activities. Instead of planning how to “stop” climate change, humanity’s energy and efforts would be better diverted to discussing how to adapt to climate change.”
*‘Which Policy to Address Climate Change?’ by Julian Morris, was published on Thursday, 11 December 2009, by the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change ( www.csccc.info )
The report is available at http://www.csccc.info/reports/report_38.pdf