must fulfil the objectives of (1) energy accessibility (one-third of humanity
cannot access modern energy services); (2) energy availability (security, adequacy,
and quality of delivered energy) and (3) energy acceptability (reflecting
environmental goals and public attitudes).
addresses the equity issue through common but differentiated responsibility.
Per capita energy consumption and GHG emissions of developing countries are far lower than
that of the industralized world. In a convergence of emissions at a sustainable level,
developing countries can increase emissions to a safe limit while developed ones reduce to
the same level.
Marrakesh finalized operational rules for flexible
mechanisms and alleviated market uncertainty for carbon trading. With the US withdrawing,
new sources of uncertainty emerged and the Protocol was diluted. Concessions given to
encourage ratification include increased caps in forest management and no quantifiable
caps for offshore Kyoto mechanisms.
Beyond Marrakesh, every country including the US must
contribute to the mitigation process. The ultimate level for stabilizing GHG concentration
must be agreed upon and medium-term targets set. National policies must appreciate and
integrate the linkages between climate change and sustainable development.
The US is not (and is unlikely to be in the near future)
part of the Protocol but with growing public and business support, it is recognizing and
accepting its responsibilities as the worlds largest GHG polluter. The US withdrawal
from Kyoto may harm multinationals as they will miss important market opportunities and
not be able to manage their emissions reductions cost-effectively. Domestic and
international regimes must be compatible to enhance prospects for ultimate convergence.
It is time for action as the IPCC projects a 1.4 °C to 5.8
°C rise in world temperatures, resulting in changes in precipitation patterns, frequency
and intensity of climate extremes, and sea-level rise, further adversely affecting yields
of staple crops (rice, soybean), run-offs in major river basins, and glacier movements.
The higher vulnerability of developing countries to such
impacts may be reduced through faster growth, adaptation, and mitigation. To promote
carbon trading, business regimes require clarity, flexibility, and low transaction costs,
and capacity building. Projects should be uniformly distributed among developing
countries. The high transaction costs and political risks hindering larger projects like
rural electrification can be overcome through effective publicprivate partnerships.