Monday, December 3, 2007

‘Development, not global regulation, the solution to climate change’, says author of new report

My article titled ‘Development, not global regulation, the solution to climate change’, says author of new report was published on International Policy network on December 3 2007.

London -- In advance of the COP-10 meeting on climate change in Argentina (6-17 December), the Sustainable Development Network has issued a blueprint on the relationship between climate change and sustainable development. The blueprint emphasises the role of economic development and technological progress in eliminating poverty and enabling people to cope with adverse effects of climate change and other problems.

The blueprint concludes that the poor are currently the most vulnerable to disease, flooding, droughts, and other catastrophic natural events. While climate change may make these worse tomorrow, empowering the poor will enable them to improve their lives and reduce their vulnerability today and in the future.

Barun Mitra, Director of the Liberty Institute in New Delhi and one of the authors, says that the Kyoto Protocol and similar attempts to control the climate through restricting emissions of ‘greenhouse gases’ would do nothing to help the poor. ‘The Kyoto Protocol intends to prevent possible problems of tomorrow for the rich world, but people in the poor world must survive today.’

Mr. Mitra said that poor countries continue to suffer from problems that have been eliminated in wealthy countries. ‘A million Indians die every year from indoor air pollution -- not because they consume too much energy, but because they lack access to modern energy sources.’
He noted that Kyoto-style emissions restrictions are unsustainable and counterproductive: ‘Poor countries need access to modern energy sources, but this will not happen by putting caps on consumption or emissions through Kyoto or other mechanisms,’ said Mitra. ‘Poor countries need free, competitive markets to ensure economic development. By allowing consumption today, poor countries are more likely to be clean and efficient tomorrow.’
Mitra concluded that ‘Economic development, not global regulation, is the solution to climate change.’

Kendra Okonski, a co-author and Director of the Sustainable Development Project at International Policy Network, agreed: ‘Perversely, restrictions on emissions will make people everywhere more vulnerable to negative effects of climate change. They are costly, have little impact on the climate, and will perpetuate poverty – hardly a path towards sustainable development.’
‘Whether climate change is benign or harmful, wealthy and poor countries must enhance their ability to adapt to changes of all kinds,’ concluded Ms. Okonski.

Notes for editors:

The blueprint says that wealthy countries are generally resilient to problems and uncertainties because they have adopted institutions that are more compatible with human nature, including:

■ property rights that are well-defined, enforceable and transferable;
■ the ability to make and form contracts, but also the freedom from contract;
■ the rule of law, administered by an independent and fair judicial system;
■ open trade free of vested interests and artificial barriers to trade; and
■ good governance (which is enhanced by adherence to the other institutions) enabled by transparency, accountability amongst elected officials, bureaucrats and civil servants.

No comments:

Post a Comment