Friday, November 30, 2007

Bali: Demystified

What will happen in Bali when the world's decisionmakers on climate change meet? According to The Economist, watch the space for 4 things:

1. Some sort of long term commitment to deal with the problem, binding the 192 signatories to the UNFCCC
2. Following the EU's lead, further progress on emissions targets and reductions.
3. Getting developing countries in the net, possibly through emissions reductions for specific sectors, rather then entire countries
4. Controversially, discussion on incentives to not to chop the world's forests

At best we may see more cap-and-trade systems and maybe a surprise or two from developing countries. But agreeing on long term commitments and on deforestation incentives has less of an chance.

For South Africa? If our highest emitters, Eskom, Sasol, BHP Billiton and Anglo can agree on reductions we have captured most of the gases. That seems quite unlikely at the moment. It seems as if DEAT wants a greater part of the CDM action. Inclusion of South Africa's carbon intensive companies in an international trading regime might work even better. Anyone looking at that?

Adapation, again, is nowhere to be seen. A pity as climate change will bite long before we see a drop in accumulated greenhouse gases - even in best case mitigation scenarios.

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