The work of this Review is directed at nurturing the slender chance that Australia and the world will manage to develop a position that strikes a good balanced between the costs of dangerous climate change and the costs of mitigation.
A slender chance that needs nurturing?
Australian emissions reductions are not going to make a big difference, on a world scale. But without them, we are not going to convince the developing world to cap theirs. As they told us a month ago:
Berlin June 8 The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and leaders of four other emerging economies, China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa, took the offensive in the debate on climate change asking the developed world first to make significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
"Greenhouse gas mitigation in developed countries is the key to address climate change given their responsibilities in causing it," noted a joint policy paper that was presented to the leaders of the G-8, the group of eight top industrialised nations: the US, UK, Japan, France, Italy, Japan, Russia and Canada.This was a response to the assertion of the G-8 that cutbacks in emissions by only the developed countries would not be adequate; the emerging economies too have to do their bit. "We invite notably the emerging economies to address the increase in their emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of their economic development," the declaration of the G-8 had said.
The key to bringing them on board is their cheap access to renewable energy technology.
The emerging countries said that access to adequate technology was a key enabling condition. "We need an agreement on transfer of technologies at affordable costs," they noted in their joint paper.
Aware of the constraints that patents imposed on transfer of technologies, they said, "Rewards for innovators needs to be balanced with common good for humankind."
Like the man said... a slender chance.
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