Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Washington Post editorial writer is a bit slow.

Media: This editorial writer should be fired. If you are going to write an editorial at least get a bit more information about what is going on. It's about PM Tony Blair's comment about Kyoto that goes over the writer's head.

Speaking at the first day of a summit of energy and environment ministers, Mr. Blair noticeably hinted at the idea that Europeans should begin moving away from reliance on the Kyoto treaty to meet the goal of curbing greenhouse emissions. Though the treaty set strict targets for cuts in greenhouse gases, it would stabilize rather than lower greenhouse gas emissions, and, even so, the targets are probably not attainable. The United States isn't going to sign it soon, and it sets no targets for fast-growing China and India. Instead of an "external force" that would impose an "internal target," Mr. Blair said that "in the world after 2012 we need to find a better, more sensitive set of mechanisms to deal with this problem." It isn't completely clear what Mr. Blair meant by this, although he has spoken in the past of sharing new technology, of Western projects to help the Chinese develop cleaner methods of burning coal and of going back to examine whether there could be a greater role for existing technologies such as solar, wind and even nuclear power.
Let me try and clear it up.
BBC: "Meeting Kyoto Protocol targets on greenhouse gas emissions will reduce European economic growth significantly. ....In recent weeks, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has become the latest leader to suggest that constructing a "child-of-Kyoto" agreement involving firm targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be tricky. "No country will want to sacrifice its economy in order to meet this challenge," he told a London conference last week, commenting further that talk of frameworks and targets "...makes people nervous". "Nevertheless, its message that technology can take the place of targets finds support in some powerful capitals, and has resonated with developing countries suspicious of what they see as western attempts to curb their economic growth through emissions restrictions. "
How about I go back to an earlier Blair moment?
09/16/05: "Onstage with former president Bill Clinton at a midtown Manhattan hotel ballroom, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was going to speak with "brutal honesty" about Kyoto and global warming, and he did. And Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had some blunt talk, too. Blair, a longtime supporter of the Kyoto treaty, further prefaced his remarks by noting, "My thinking has changed in the past three or four years." So what does he think now? "No country, he declared, "is going to cut its growth." That is, no country is going to allow the Kyoto treaty, or any other such global-warming treaty, to crimp -- some say cripple -- its economy. Looking ahead to future climate-change negotiations, Blair said of such fast-growing countries as India and China, "They're not going to start negotiating another treaty like Kyoto." India and China, of course, weren't covered by Kyoto in the first place, which was one of the fatal flaws in the treaty. But now Blair is acknowledging the obvious: that after the current Kyoto treaty -- which the US never acceded to -- expires in 2012, there's not going to be another worldwide deal like it.
Simple translation: Kyoto is not working, there won't be a Kyoto II and this tech exchange business sounds interesting and more doable.

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