Tuesday, March 14, 2017

It's "Put Up or Shut Up" Time on Climate Change - and "Shut Up" Has a Big Lead Going Into the G20 Summit

Is the G-20 about to kick climate change to the curb? Apparently so, at least according to Bloomberg.

Finance ministers for the U.S., China, Germany and other members of the Group of 20 economies may scale back a robust pledge for their governments to combat climate change, ceding efforts to the private sector.

Citing “scarce public resources,” the ministers said they would encourage multilateral development banks to raise private funds to accomplish goals set under the 2015 Paris climate accord, according to a preliminary statement drafted for a meeting that will be held in Germany next week.

The statement, obtained by Bloomberg News, is a significant departure from a communique issued in July, when finance ministers urged governments to quickly implement the Paris Agreement, including a call for wealthy nations to make good on commitments to mobilize $100 billion annually to cut greenhouse gases around the globe.

“It basically says governments are irrelevant. It’s complete faith in the magic of the marketplace,” John Kirton, director of the University of Toronto’s G-20 Research Group, said in an interview. “That is very different from the existing commitments they have repeatedly made.”

 The shift in tone comes as U.S. President Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, prepares for his first G-20 meeting, scheduled for March 17 to 18 in the spa town of Baden-Baden. While European nations including Germany have been at the forefront of combating global warming, Trump has called climate change a hoax.

So that $100 billion a year promise? Yeah, sorry. Don't worry, the private sector wants to gift you that money. Honestly. They do, really.


crf said...

Germany and the Euros have been failures at changing their emission trajectories to any sufficient degree. I (unfortunately) learned a new phrase last year: virtue signaling. I'd say nearly all of Germany's policies are climate virtue signaling. Shutting down nukes while burning biomass and keeping the coal plants open are the climate policy equivalent to Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's earnest call to combat AIDS by eating more yams instead of taking retro-viral medicine.

The US policy is a shambles as well, but their trajectory to lower emissions per capita is lately better than the Germans' (See https://www.carbonbrief.org/climate-showdown-has-the-us-uk-or-germany-done-more-to-cut-emissions ). If Trump just sits on his ass, and there continues the trend of US coal stations getting replaced by natural gas stations, then the US will continue beating Germany at lowering emissions.

The Mound of Sound said...

"Virtue signaling" - there's something I guess I really should look into. Thanks, Chris.