May 22, 2008
World Bank and UK Government on Climate Change Implications of Development
Posted to Author: Pielke Jr., R. | Climate Change | International | Scientific Assessments | Technology and Globalization
The World Bank and UK government issued a report today titled, "Strategies For Sustained Growth And Inclusive Development." Here is what the report says about the implications for climate change of development in the developing world (p. 86), something that the report calls absolutely necessary:
Clearly the advanced countries are at per capita [carbon dioxide] output levels that, if replicated by the developing world, would be dramatically in excess of safe levels. World carbon emissions are now at about twice the safe level, meaning that if the current output is sustained, the CO2 stock in the atmosphere will rise above safe levels in the next 40 years. The figures for a range of countries, including developing countries, are shown in Figure 9.
What actions does the report call for (p. 90)?
The Commission recommends the following nine steps. Taken together, they will cut emissions, thereby staving off some of the worst dangers of global warming. They will reveal more about the cost of cutting emissions, and they will encourage new technologies that reduce these costs. These steps are also fair.
Interestingly, the report calls for developing countries to "resist long-term target setting" while at the same time expressing skepticism about the "true costs of mitigation." The report shows that there is a wide range of views on what sort of mitigation actions make sense in the debate over climate policy that cannot be captured by the facile "denialist-alarmist" dichotomy that some observers would like to enforce on the debate. One oversight is that the report does not address the issue of adaptation.Posted on May 22, 2008 10:20 AM
It is hard to imagine that there would be any rich countries left after this program got up to speed.
Lets say that a solar alternative costs $22,000. The rich country cost per capita would be that according to item 1. There are probably many of the US population who could afford to do this but the total for the country would be $6.6 Trillion and would be assessed to many who could not. Lets say half, so those who can now have an individual cost of $44,000. While that seems like quite an investment, there is a payout on solar, and at some point the investment would be returned.
By item 2, the government subsidizes the cost of item 1, so the actual cost to the individual goes up because the government doesn't create wealth and is inefficient in its redistribution.
By item 3, we increase the cost of the installation again in order to fund the carbon counting system, but don't make the solar installation any better or more efficient.
By item 4, we increase the cost of the installation again in order to fund another level of accountants. Lets say that the individual installation now costs $50,000.
By item 5, we hit the home run. As your counterpart in the developing countries (say China) cannot afford the installation either, you get to buy his, and your cost is now $100,000.
Is it at least possible that the world isn't worth that much on average, despite how nice the view is from some places.
Posted by: jackson_foi at May 23, 2008 05:51 PM
One thing that distorts this process I have noticed is that sharks are using the subsidies to allow them to charge even more while often selling inappropriate and sometimes useless equipment.
India and China (especially) can quite happily pay for their own installation and many subsidies to Africa, for example, seem to be coming from China at the moment too - in exchange for resources.
Posted by: JamesG at May 27, 2008 03:20 AM
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