AVOIDING CLIMATE CONTROL
January 12, 2006
The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APPCDC), though still in its infancy, has already encountered venomous hostility from those who have spent the past 15 years lobbying for the Kyoto Protocol's climate control mandate, says Wolfgang Kasper, emeritus professor of economics at the University of New South Wales, Australia.
APPCDC -- an agreement between Australia, the United States, Japan, South Korea, China and India to cooperate on the development and transfer of technology which enables reduction of greenhouse gas emissions -- attempts to address climate control in a new light, says Kasper.
But how does APPCDC differ from the Kyoto Protocol?
- APPCDC is not based on the idea that energy use must be cut, whatever the consequences for human welfare; instead, it acknowledges that economic progress is desirable and requires growing energy.
- It's the only way for China, India and other poor countries to achieve a cleaner environment and higher standards of environmental protection.
- It also recognizes the need to investigate more innovative approaches based on the use of new technologies; finding these will require protracted effort, massive funding and international cooperation -- all with the involvement of private industry.
Moreover, market economies enable the coordination of change within complex systems of human interaction; they create voluntary, flexible and diverse responses to change, because they rely on decentralized, spontaneous effort by entrepreneurs who take ideas and test them in rivalry with competitors, says Kasper.
However, the underlying view of APPCDC is that there is no silver-bullet formula for tackling climate change; but it does promise a more constructive, forward-looking and humane approach. One that might just enable more people in poor countries to attain wealthier, healthier and cleaner lives, says Kasper.
Source: Wolfgang Kasper, "Avoiding Climate 'Control'," Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2006.
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