With the G8 set to meet in Italy this week, a report from a worldwide consortium of research institutes is arguing that the only policies that will work are those which focus on improvement in energy efficiency and the decarbonisation of energy supplies.
The report, published by the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society at the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Mackinder Programme, argues that this approach is more effective than a model based on emissions targets.
Called How to Get Climate Policy back on Course, the report argues that the recent Japanese ‘Mamizu’ climate strategy is the world’s first to start down this ‘real world’ course in sharp contrast to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the UK Climate Change Act and the US Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade legislation.
Professor Steve Rayner, Director of InSIS at the University of Oxford, said: ‘The world has centuries of experience in decarbonising its energy supply and Japan has led the world in policy-driven improvements in energy efficiency. These are the models to which we ought to be looking.’
Professor Gwyn Prins, from LSE, said: ‘Worthwhile policy builds upon what we know works and upon what is feasible rather than trying to deploy never-before implemented policies through complex institutions requiring a hitherto unprecedented and never achieved degree of global political alignment.’
The paper’s 12 co-authors come from leading research institutes in Europe (England, Germany, Finland), North America (Canada, USA) and Asia (Australia, Japan).
The report points out that between 1990 and 2000 the carbon intensity of the global economy was 0.27 tonnes for every additional $1000 of GDP. In the period 2001 to 2006 this rose to 0.53 tonnes.
The Obama Administration has argued that one should never waste a good crisis. How to Get Climate Policy back on Course shows how deep the crisis of climate policy really is and gives a real world alternative to the continued pursuit of policies that have so clearly failed.
How to Get Climate Policy back on Course is the sequel to The Wrong Trousers: Radically Re-thinking Climate Policy (2007), its influential LSE/Oxford predecessor.
Download the full report: How to Get Climate Policy back on Course (pdf)
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