Category Archives: OECD

OECD slaps down America for lack of action on climate

Concern about climate change is not the preserve of green extremists, but is fast becoming a concern of business. As noted, the CEO of BHP has called for a price on carbon.

Now it seems the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has called upon the US to lift its game:

The United States this week received a lesson in climate change policy 101 from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

As the American political class struggles with the issue of climate change and the need to act – none of the Republican Senate candidates support action, and most do not believe the science – the OECD, in its regular economic survey of the world’s largest economy, has called for the US to take action on the domestic front and take a pivotal role internationally.

“The cost-effective way to reduce these emissions is to price them and to support the development and deployment of emission-reducing technologies, which will reduce future abatement costs,” the OECD writes in the report released this week.

As the OECD notes, Congress may well have passed legislation along these lines in 2009, but the Senate has not. And so the task of reducing emissions – firstly in motor vehicles and then in other sectors – will fall to the US Environmental Protection Agency, at a greater cost to the economy, and probably to no great effect.

So the miners want a price on carbon and the pro-market OECD wants action. Who does this leave the anti-science zealots to attack?

The deniers are fast degenerating into mish-mash of conspiratorial fantasists angry at anyone who disagrees with them. Everyone else is on the conspiracy!

There’s a word for people like that: cranks.

Time to “act-act”?

Of course, as the world heads into the next round of negotiations for a binding agreement to reduce emissions at Cancun, the US is playing down expectations:

The top US climate negotiator warned Tuesday against expectations of any binding deals on cutting greenhouse gas emissions at the next UN conference on the issue in Mexico later this year.

Climate change special envoy Todd Stern also insisted the United States still had a major role to play in the battle against global warming, despite its failure to get a bill cutting greenhouse gas emissions through Congress.

Stern said after a high-level international meeting on climate change here that nations would seek progress on non-binding “decisions” at the talks in Cancun, Mexico, which some experts believe will produce another stalemate.

“No one is anticipating or expecting in any way a legal treaty to be done in Cancun this year,” he said.

“The focus at this point is on a set of decisions on the core issues,” Stern said after talks among 17 nations responsible for 80 percent of carbon emissions.

Churchill famously said it was better to “jaw-jaw” than to “war-war”, sentiments I agree with.

However on climate it would seem we’ve had enough “jaw-jaw”.

We need governments to “act-act”.

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