G7, China leading on climate change

The G7 wants the 196 nations that are parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 70 per cent by 2050 (from 2010 levels), and the G7 will push for commitments at the “upper end” of this range.  The aim, as extraordinary as it sounds, is for decarbonisation of the global economy by the end of the century.  The G7 nations are: the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain, France, Canada and Italy.

Research released this week by the Grantham Institute at the London School of Economics suggests China’s greenhouse gas emissions may peak in 2025 – five years earlier than the date nominated by President Xi Jinping just seven months ago. China pumped out about 10.3 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent in 2013 (about 29 per cent of global emissions). The Grantham Institute suggests it will peak at 12.5 billion to 14 billion tonnes in 2025. …

Sadly, such innovation and genuine commitment is not likely to come from the Abbott government, which prefers to avert its eyes, undermine the science or concoct half-pitched abatement strategies rather than committing wholeheartedly to the kind of changes the world’s scientists and bigger economies recognise are urgently needed.

While there is inaction at the national level, and a wholesale lack of leadership on climate change in this term of government, the rest of the world is moving on. Innovators will take their initiatives overseas. Smart investors will send their funds to nations that demonstrate unalloyed support for sustainable energy programs.

Australians can see how little this nation is doing and how the government has dumbed down or silenced the discussion. They see the rest of the world is now leading the charge. They know this will cost us dearly.

(The Age Editorial, 10/6/2015)
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/g7-china-leading-on-climate-change-20150609-ghjmox.html

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