climatechange (climatechange) wrote,

Freezing duty and dodgy deniers


Brown has frozen duty on petrol (again) (Independent /Guardian). Needless to say many environmental groups aren't happy that long-term plans to combat warming are cut when subjected to short-term petrol price fluctuations. Also of note is a change in company car tax which may encourage companies to move from diesel to the more polluting petrol for their fleets.

I promise I'll try to be more international in the future with news coverage.

Self-contradicting line of the day goes to free-marketeer and Times columnist Barun Mitra:
"Indian cities are characterised by pollution caused by inefficient cars and adulterated petrol. The cost of fuel is so high that we can’t afford to buy more modern and efficient ones."

It's used as an argument to legitimise low fuel tax, but like much "logic" used to counter measures to control climate change it's so broken.

The first is the most obvious - without any kind of punitive tax on fuel people will have much less financial reason to spend more money on a more modern car with better fuel consumption. Indeed, the tax could be used to subsidise more efficient techniques and make them more affordable.

The author goes on...
"Not surprisingly, Kyoto does not sound convincing to the world’s poor. For what this present debate over climate change has done is to divert attention from the core issue of mankind — poverty."

See, now this assumes that the reader knows nothing about the way Kyoto or indeed climate change will affect developing nations and why most developing nations are its most ardent supporters.

As India is a developing nation, it is exempt from needing to make any emissions cuts. The reason for this being is that in 1999 an Indian on average relased 1.1 tonnes of carbon into the air. An American released 19.7, a British citizen 9.2 and someone residing in Germany 9.7 tonnes. We're the ones causing climate change, not China or India - yet.

Additionally India will benefit greatly, as they will be able to sell the tonnes they're not using to developed nations like Canada or Europe which will both encourage them to jump straight to clean technologies as well as provide a large amount of financial support to a nation that much needs it. Kyoto is not just an environmental bill in that respect, but also one that will lead in restructuring the global economy, and set-up the conditions for a wider provision of basic services.

But the bigger issue is that climate change will affect developing nations first. For example, a one-metre rise in sea level will result in the permanent inundation of 15%-18% of low-lying coastal areas in Bangladesh and displace 10 million people. It will be Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and other local nations that will have to support these climate refugees, while themselves have additional food, water and extreme weather problems. It will be hard for us, but for developing nations just getting off their feet, climate change will be even more deadly.

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