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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

22 Jul 2009 02:07:00

US academics call for GHG emission targets for all countries



US academics call for GHG emission targets for all countries
The global cooperation required to set greenhouse gas emission targets for every country is not only feasible but very necessary, it has been claimed.

According to academics from Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in the US, proposals for a quantitative cap on carbon dioxide (CO2) need to account for political constraints regarding cost, fairness and timing.

Jeffrey Frankel, a professor of capital formation and growth at the institution, argued that even though climate change is a global issue, no country is likely to set fixed emissions targets without being spurred on by a multilateral treaty.

He called for all countries to commit to serious action in December, when the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is scheduled to take place in Copenhagen, with a view to negotiating a follow-on treaty for the Kyoto protocol.

"The US will not commit to quantitative targets if China and other major developing countries do not commit to quantitative targets at the same time, due to concerns about economic competitiveness and carbon leakage," Professor Frankel predicted.

Based on the various scientific, economic and political considerations, the expert proposed to set a fixed atmospheric limit for CO2 of 500 parts per million (ppm).

In March 2009, scientists from the Manual Loa Observatory in Hawaii estimated that the concentration of CO2 in the earth's atmosphere is 387 ppm by volume.

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