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Scientists: Most of world’s climate policies ‘off course’

wrong-way-signThe best way to combat climate change is for the world to adopt Japan-style policies to improve energy efficiency and decarbonise the energy supply, according to a new report from a worldwide consortium of research institutes.

The report’s authors argue that approach is better than a model based on emissions targets.

“How to Get Climate Policy back on Course” — published by the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS) at the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics )LSE) and Political Science’s Mackinder Programme — concludes that Japan’s recent “Mamizu” strategy is the first to start down a “real world” course addressing climate change. It holds that policy in sharp contrast to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the UK Climate Change Act and the US Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade legislation.

“The world has centuries of experience in decarbonising its energy supply and Japan has led the world in policy-driven improvements in energy efficiency,” said Steve Rayner, director of InSIS. “These are the models to which we ought to be looking.”

“Worthwhile policy builds upon what we know works and upon what is feasible rather than trying to deploy never-before implemented policies through complex institutions requiring a hitherto unprecedented and never achieved degree of global political alignment,” added Gwyn Prins of LSE.

The report points out that, between 1990 and 2000, the carbon intensity of the global economy was 0.27 tonnes for every additional $1000 of GDP. In the period 2001 to 2006 this rose to 0.53 tonnes.

The paper’s 12 co-authors come from research institutes across Europe (England, Germany, Finland), North America (Canada, US) and Asia (Australia, Japan).


  • ff
    Posted August 5, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    The world has centuries of experience in decarbonising its energy supply

    This sounds like a bit of an exaggeration, although I do agree that having a trading system that allows profit to be made from trading carbon is insane.

  • Derek Wall
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    carbon trading has not reduced emissions but has generated income for bankers, we need instead to actually do something rather than relying on a complex and counter productive system of finance.

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