Comprehensive deal better than Kyoto

The Kyoto Protocol had several faults, not least of which was it wasn’t supported by some of the countries with the biggest emissions.

Climate Change Issues Minister is correct when he says it is far better to seek a comprehensive deal than to continue with Kyoto.

. . . Some nations want the Kyoto Protocol, which expires this year, to be renewed until 2020.

Mr Groser says the signatories to that pact make up only a small part of total greenhouse gas emissions, and New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Japan and others are seeking to replace the protocol with a new, comprehensive scheme.

“Kyoto Protocol will cover 15% of global emissions, you can’t make a serious argument that you’re dealing with climate change unless you have a comprehensive deal that captures the 85% of emissions left out.”

Mr Groser says the aim is to have countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil to lower the growth rate of emissions, and have a cap on emissions in some years time.

Excluding countries like these from any new climate change agreement would leave 85% of total emissions uncovered, he says. . .

The opposition will say this is a cop-out.

But New Zealand is already doing more through the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Consortium which is attracting international support for  research than signing up to an extension of Kyoto would achieve,

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24 Responses to Comprehensive deal better than Kyoto

  1. Viv says:

    Ele, have you read the Price Waterhouse Cooper’s new report ‘ Too late for 2 degrees?’ or the World Bank’s ‘Turn down the heat’? Both released this month, with short executive summaries. Whatever mechanisms are used, the world must urgently reduce CO2 emissions.

  2. robertguyton says:

    When you paper over a crack, Ele, the crack remains.

  3. Roger says:

    Excellent, we might as well give up arresting the increase in trace gases and focus on mitigation, as and when it arises. Not sure how PwC explains the fact the world has stopped warming…

    “…German environmentalist Fritz Vahrenholt, a former Social Democrat Party senator, founder of wind-energy company REpower and president of the German Wildlife Foundation….(notes)…

    “According to the IPCC climate models, there should be an increase in global temperature of 0.2C per decade,” he says.

    “But if you look at the data series of satellite-based temperature measurements and the data from the British Hadley Centre (HadCRUT), you find that since 1998 there has been no warming; the temperature has remained at a plateau. We know how mainstream climate scientists would answer this question: 15 years is not a climate signal; it must happen for 30 years,” Vahrenholt says, “But there must be an explanation for the unexpected absence of warming.”
    …”

  4. Roger says:

    Yep, we understand the Labour Party’s policy generation process.

  5. JC says:

    Now we find out if the greenies are serious about AGW or simply in the 15% social club that is Europe and Kyoto.

    JC

  6. homepaddock says:

    Viv and Robert – I don’t understand your opposition to doing something that will be more effective.

  7. Viv K says:

    I didn’t say I opposed it Ele. I asked if you had come across those reports.
    While Roger is clearly a climate change denier (any comment on ocean acidification Robert?) , it seems that the mainstream is now starting to understand the severity of the problem.
    JC- I didn’t know PWC, the IEA and the World Bank were greenies.
    Reducing agricultural emissions is a great idea, while we can cut CO2 emissions by changing to non- fossil fueled transport etc, everyone still needs to eat, so agriculture is very important. But it’s not doing one thing instead of another, it must be doing everything possible as quickly as possible. And by the way, that means no new oil or coal.

  8. Doing what? We opted out an existing agreement and promised we’d be part of one that doesn’t actually exist? How “effective” is that?

  9. TraceyS says:

    The mainstream, perhaps rather intuitively, better understands the impact of massive social change than does the extremists whose strong, narrow views cloud their appreciation of the inevitable and predictable fallout. I’ve had a conversation with quite a few greenists – along the lines of; what happens to all the people who just can’t adapt to “doing everything possible as quickly as possible”? Well, the answer seems to be that they will suffer. Poor fools for not being up with the play, sceptical as they (rightly) are of the validity and reliability of scientific models! Wise sorts of fools who realise that we humans can’t even forecast the weather accurately a week in advance…

  10. Viv says:

    Can you not see that this is not ‘extremists’ uncaringly pushing some idealogical barrow. This is a huge serious problem that more and more intelligent people are coming to understand will have terrible consequences if ignored. The World Bank understand that. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is!

  11. Tracey,

    Viv’s comments are very sensible, I just wanted to put out this old canard doesn’t really quack

    “Wise sorts of fools who realise that we humans can’t even forecast the weather accurately a week in advance…”

    Predicting the weather is hard because it’s the particular outcome of many many variables in combination. Predicting climate it comparatively easy because its basically the average of weather. If you rolled a dice now I wouldn’t have much chance of predicting the outcome, but if you though a hundred I’m sure the average would be very close to 3.5.

    Moreover, we predict the climate all the time. February will be a lot warmer in NZ than January, thanks to one of the “forcings” in the climate system. The greenhouse effect is another forcing, and adding to it will make the world warmer.

  12. TraceyS says:

    David, “predicting climate is comparatively easy because it’s basically the average of the weather…” Is that past weather or future weather? How on earth do you average future weather? You surely must have history in order to derive an average of anything. Then you’re not really talking about a prediction are you…

    Your dice example doesn’t cut it. It relies on the past always predicting the future. It doesn’t. After one hundred throws you might know the average, but you still would be none the wiser as to what the next throw would be!

    Surely you didn’t mean to suggest that climate change is entirely due to chance.

  13. TraceyS says:

    Yes I can, and respect all views. Just wary I guess. Nothing wrong with that eh Viv?

  14. David Winter says:

    How on earth do you average future weather?

    It’s so much that you average future weather (although some simulations work more or less like that) it’s that you predict what the average will be, knowing what you know about impacts on the climate system. So, I can predict the average temperature in June of next year will be lower than the average temperature in February (a climate prediction!)

    Surely you didn’t mean to suggest that climate change is entirely due to chance.

    No. I mean quite a lot of weather is (effectively) due to chance. But we can predict the long-run outcome of chance events with considerable accuracy, (remember, predicting climate is not like predicting the outcome of one throw of a die) so the “can’t predict the weather” line is really pretty toothless.

  15. TraceyS says:

    So then David, you’re saying that a lot of weather is due to chance and that is why it is hard to predict accurately. But also that future climate change predictions are based on aggregated weather data and other variables. Does that not therefore make predicting climate change equally difficult to do accurately as prediciting the weather? If we can’t predict what the weather will be like next month, then have we any hope at all of predicting (accurately) what the climate will be like in 100 years? Basic assumptions that it will be warmer than now lack the precision needed to be of any practical use. It may be warmer in the future but maybe only by 1 degree for example. If you can’t predict the size of the change and when it will occur, then you don’t know the size and shape of the problem solving task required. It may be huge. It may be small. Some climate change interventions will inevitably require change and pain for people. I just hope that those pushing for these things are sure that they are justified. The government is sensibly cautious of the commitments it is asked to make on behalf of the people.

  16. David Winter says:

    Does that not therefore make predicting climate change equally difficult to do accurately as prediciting the weather?

    No. Read my earlier comments.

    We can have a discussion about what measures we should take to deal with our greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s simply isn’t true that “basic assumptions [actually conclusions from evidence] that it will be warmer than now lack the precision needed to be of any practical use”. To the reports discussed above,and the research summarised byt the IPCC, you can add the E.U. latest .

  17. TraceyS says:

    I’m not trying to dispute that the future could be warmer than now. If that’s what conclusions from evidence support, then maybe it is so. However the the “E.U. latest” also concludes the following “Uncertainties are inherent to climate impact
    assessment as they are present in all stages of
    the integrated assessment (IPCC, 2004) and, in
    particular, are associated with each of the specific
    models used: climate models, sectoral physical
    impact models and economic valuation models.” These uncertainties don’t just disappear. If not given due consideration, they could result in errors being built into assumptions and predictions about the future couldn’t they?

  18. David Winter says:

    Science comes with uncertainty, so of course there are uncertainties with regard the magnitude of the problem. But they cut both ways. Wouldn’t you have to be very confident that our GHG emissions would have only a benign effect to say we should sit back and do nothing, as you seem to be advocating?

  19. TraceyS says:

    Yes. And I believe some out there are using science to try and prove this. And they might. And what then? Do we then have the discussion about whether science really proves anything or just raises more questions? Why wait – we could have that discussion right now :)

    I am not advocating do nothing. In fact I’m not advocating anything! Except maybe to realise that whatever we decide to do could turn out to be wrong. Decision-making, after all, is not a very precise science.

  20. David Winter says:

    You sound like the Greens on the fracking report now …

  21. TraceyS says:

    Really? Oh, you mean noticing only the scientific findings that come out in favour of your argument and disregarding the others…!

    But I never put forth an argument either for or against climate change.

  22. David Winter says:

    No, I mean this extreme and selective skepticism. If we wait until there is no uncertainty then we’ll’ never act on anything, so “discussion[s] about whether science really proves anything” are really a waste of time.

  23. Viv says:

    If we change to a fossil free future we will have clean energy, that would be good even if turned out global warming wasn’t real. If we did nothing because people like you want more evidence than a melting Arctic and question the laws of physics and chemistry which tell us what happens when CO2 increases, ie, ocean acidification, but you turn out to be wrong, then the future is bleak.

  24. TraceyS says:

    “The important thing is never stop questioning” (Einstein). The asking of questions does not need to hold up progress either. We should never act with closed minds.

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