climatechange (climatechange) wrote,

COP10: The United States position

COP10 still has near zero press coverage, even in the liberal press. Still, one article did manage to slip through on the BBC. This will have to do for the US position as they don't have much in the way of policy online.

Dr Watson was asked by a German journalist what had gone wrong with the American way of life to make it produce twice the emissions of European economies with similar living standards.

"Nothing went wrong in the US," he said. "We are blessed with economic growth which implies more energy use, which typically implies more emissions.

"I might say, by the way, that your sweeping statement about European reductions does not hold across the board, because there have been substantial increases in a number of countries in Europe."

So essentially, because the US is making the most money, then the US should be allowed to release 25% of the world's greenhouse gases. Hmmm. On the other hand, I came across an interesting NRDC report that states that China has managed both significant economic growth and an emissions reduction, even taking into account that China routinely fakes its figures.

On the last point he's right, some EU countries are off-target, the article quotes Portugal at 36% and Spain at 33% since 1990 levels (although I couldn't find these statistics myself - they may well be the most recent). What it doesn't say is that Portugal is allowed to increase its emissions by 27% and Spain 15% under the burdon sharing agreement between EU member states that allows lesser developed EU states to increase their emissions, and pushes the more developed to decrease. Currently both states emit significantly less CO2 than Germany or the UK. The EU is seen as a single entity and has a single target of -8% by 2008-2012 which in 1999 was at -4%.

Outright lie of the day goes to, again, US negotiator Dr.Watson:
"The Kyoto protocol was a political agreement. It was not based on science."

No, opposition to climate change, and opposition to Kyoto which is currently the only real international action against climate change, is purely political and has no scientific backing. Ask any independently funded research institute - nearly complete consensus. The only real force who argue that climate change deserves no or little action are oil-funded front institutes, a reasonable list of links you can find here. (on the subject of corporate links - "They Rule" is a very good site too)

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