Peiser gets it right...
A terrific op-ed from the Financial Post today on the costs of CO reductions....
Developing nations insist that the rich world unilaterally commit to stringent and legally binding CO2 emissions cuts at home. At the same time, they also demand massive wealth transfers from the West in the form of 'clean' technologies and financial funds for adaptation and energy initiatives.
The self-inflicted damage as a result of Western climate policies has been ruinous. Japan alone faces a Kyoto bill of more than US$500-billion -- if the country endeavours to cut CO2 emissions by 11% over the next decade. No wonder, then, that Japan has officially given up on Kyoto and is now calling for a much softer replacement based on select sectoral, rather than national emission targets.
In Europe, too, policy-makers and business leaders now realize that the European Union's unilateral actions are threatening to drive energy-intensive industries abroad. According to recent estimates, European industries are expected to shoulder ¤50-billion to ¤80-billion ($128-billion) per year if the EU's agreed climate targets were to become legally binding. Unsurprisingly, the European Commission has now warned that it will abandon its own goals if the rest of the world won't agree to a new climate treaty.
These staggering costs, however, pale in comparison with what China and the developing nations are demanding for their signature under any new climate treaty. Arguing that Europe, Japan and North America have caused much of the buildup of the world's CO2 emissions in the atmosphere over the last century or so, China has called on Western nations to hand over 0.5% of their GDP per year in form of funds and clean-technology transfer to developing nations to counter global warming. China's demand amounts to a wealth transfer of around US$200-billion a year from the OECD to the rest of the world, of which US$65-billion annually would come from the United States alone.
China's exorbitant request, however, has been eclipsed by demands by African campaigners, who are charging a payback that is twice as high. At the Bangkok meeting, African non-governmental organizations called on rich countries to commit 1% of their GDP each year -- for Africa alone -- for adaptation policies dealing with the effects of climate change, in addition to existing development aid.