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[BBC] 【整理】BBC Podcast 2008-10-07

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This is a download from the BBC. To find out more, visit bbc.co.uk/readio4.

 

China’s carbon dioxide emissions have been growing so fast that, if it hasn’t already, will soon take the United States as the world’s biggest polluter. Despite that, it says that those industrialized countries which cause the problem which should be responsible for 95% of cuts by 2050. Lord Stern who produced the government review of the economic (economics) climate change is speaking at the essay today about what the global deal for climate change should look like.

 

 

 

And I asked him, if China was right. 

 

 

 

The West should certainly take the lead and cut by at least 80%, and the in some cases, more than 90% between 1990 and 2050. And the reason the West should take the lead is that they are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere now because they’ve followed high carbon growth for so long. If you look at where we need to be by 2050, we need to get to roughly two tons per capita of greenhouse gases measured in carbon dioxide equivalent. If you look well say Europe’s now, Europe’s is at 10 or 12. So dividing by five, it’s a cut by 80%. It’s what’s necessary to get down to that level. But everybody has to be involved in this. It can’t be the rich countries alone.

 

 The trouble is though that whoever is responsible for the mess in terms of clearing it up, China’s already the world’s second biggest emitter of carbon dioxide. And it’s expected to overtake America’s.

 

 

 

It probably has already overtaken America. China is around 5 tons per capita at the moment. And China, we all hope, will continue its rapid growth. So China’s got a major challenge because China too has to get down to roughly two tons per capital, because the world needs the average two tons per capital. And it won’t be possible to do that unless the big blocks are around that level.

 

But don’t you therefore need to structure that into any deal when world leaders sit down to replace Kyoto or continue Kyoto. They’ve got to take account into the fact that China has to have something in place to get it to two tons.

 

 

Yes, it does. And the challenge there will be to, for rich countries to take on their commitments clearly and strongly now for at least 80% reductions by 2050, and credible interim targets along the way. If that happens, I believe that you would see a strong participation by China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, many of the other big developing countries. So if the rich countries take that lead, I think it will be reasonable to look for a deal where China, India and so on commit to commit within five or ten years.

 

 

 

We have a problem, don’t we? In that countries now are wrestling with the prospect of recession and they are more worried about their economies than climate change and many people think it is right – sort out the economies first then deal with the problem of climate change.

 

 

 

We’ve got to find low-carbon growth. If we stick with our current model, we will choke off growth. One thing we must have learnt from this story of the very serious financial problems facing the world, and the turbulence facing the world in the financial markets now is you have to look ahead and think about the consequences of your actions. This I am crisis, was 10, 15, 20 years in the making on the financial markets. If we thought carefully over the interim period, we could have avoided this. We have to treat the climate change in the same way. If we leave this for 10, 15, 20 years, we’ll be in very difficult circumstances.

 

 

 

But we have a situation where Europe who’s considering their plans this week, are considering watering them down because they’ve got pressure not at least from eastern European countries, saying, look, they’ve got problems with the result of the economic downturn, and they won’t want to water down their climate change commitments.

 

That would be a serious mistake in my view. And I think we should look for leadership in the UK and Europe as a whole on this issue has Europe, has been a leader in the past. There will be countries such as Poland that depend heavily on coal. They are not keen to expose themselves to uncertainties, dependence on Russian gas. So those countries have to be helped to find a clean coal. And that means some carbon captioned storage for coal has to be established, and has to be established quickly. And Poland and many other countries can do much more on energy efficiency. Those kinds of ways are the right way forward, not to abandon a commitment that will lead us into very serious problems before too long.

 

 

And when you talk about clean coal, what do you think about the coal fire power stations of the top plant? Should there be, they only be allowed to go ahead with certain commitment? How should that work?

 

 

 

I think they should be planed to involve carbon captioned storage from the beginning.

 

 

 

And if not, they don’t get the go-ahead.

 

I think that’s right. But I think I’d rather look at this much more positively and see them as part of a big investment in clean coal to make sure that it works well.

 

 

 

Lord Stern, many thanks. 
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