NYT – Pls get the basics right on climate

by | Oct 20, 2009


Again, the preposterous idea that countries are holding back from offering cuts in emissions ahead of the Copenhagen climate talks, as they wait for the US Senate to consider domestic legislation. This time in the New York Times:

Among the chief barriers to a comprehensive deal in Copenhagen is Congress’s inability to enact climate and energy legislation that sets binding targets on greenhouse gases in the United States. Without such a commitment, other nations are loath to make their own pledges.

The EU (the world’s largest economy) has already agreed a 20% cut by 2020 on 1990 levels, and has said it will go to 30% if its partners make comparable efforts. Japan (the 4th biggest economy) has offered a 25% cut. As usual, the United States is the stand out. Its per capita emissions are double Europe and Japan’s – but it is yet to put any numbers on the table.

It is true, as the NYT reports, that most countries now agree that a deal will not be concluded at Copenhagen – but this is because the Senate has failed to get its act together – not because other countries are ‘loath’ to act.

Message to the NYT: stop bending the truth trying to make your lily-livered liberal readers feel better about themselves.

Author

  • David Steven is a senior fellow at the UN Foundation and at New York University, where he founded the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, a multi-stakeholder partnership to deliver the SDG targets for preventing all forms of violence, strengthening governance, and promoting justice and inclusion. He was lead author for the ministerial Task Force on Justice for All and senior external adviser for the UN-World Bank flagship study on prevention, Pathways for Peace. He is a former senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of The Risk Pivot: Great Powers, International Security, and the Energy Revolution (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). In 2001, he helped develop and launch the UK’s network of climate diplomats. David lives in and works from Pisa, Italy.


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