PRIVATE FIRMS ’CAN HELP CLIMATE’
PRIVATE FIRMS ’CAN HELP CLIMATE’
2006-01-11 at 9:43:00 am #13565
Private firms ‘can help climate’
Sydney jan 2006
The private sector will solve the problem of climate change, according to the US Energy Secretary, Samuel Bodman.
told the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate that
the job of governments was to help businesses take up clean
Critics say the talks are a way to avoid signing up to binding targets like those in the Kyoto Protocol.
The Partnership aims to develop ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through clean technology.
The meeting here in Sydney is its first ministerial gathering and is seen as a rival to the Kyoto process.
the US nor Australia is taking responsibility for the climate change
they have caused or will cause in the futureErwin Jackson, Australian
The Partnership’s guiding principle is that
technology alone, developed and exported to the growing economies of
Asia, can reduce emissions without the need for binding targets as
contained in the Kyoto treaty.
But many observers doubt that
companies or governments will adopt these technologies if they cost
more than conventional systems.
The Partnership does not envisage
financial incentives such as the European Union’s Emissions Trading
Scheme, which rewards companies for reducing their carbon output.
at a news conference why business would adopt more expensive
technologies in the absence of financial incentives, Mr Bodman replied:
“I believe that the people who run the private sector, who run these
companies – they too have children, they too have grandchildren, they
too live and breathe in the world.
“And they would like things dealt with effectively; and that’s what this is all about.”
purpose of this meeting, he said, was for governments to listen to the
concerns of the private sector and ask what prevented companies from
moving to already available clean technologies.
“Those of us in
government believe it is the job of government to create an environment
such that the private sector can really do its work.
“It’s really going to be the private sector, the companies… that are ultimately going to be the solvers of this problem.”
view was endorsed by Australian industry minister Ian Macfarlane, who
told reporters: “The real emissions are coming from industry.
it’s industry which needs to embrace the technology, it’s industry
which needs to be in a partnership with government to involve this new
technology, to take up its corporate environmental community
responsibility, to set about ensuring that in 50 years’ time our
emissions aren’t 50% higher than now.”
Setting the rules
from the two ministers have increased suspicion among environmental
groups that the Partnership is basically a business alliance designed
to help western energy companies into burgeoning Asian markets.
Nuclear is to me an obvious requirement on a going-forward basis
Samuel Bodman, US Energy Secretary
have to set the rules by which private companies operate,” said Erwin
Jackson of the Australian Conservation Foundation.
“They do so in
health and safety, in other fields – there is no reason why they should
not do so in climate change,” he told the BBC News website.
“Neither the US nor Australia is taking responsibility for the climate change they have caused or will cause in the future.”
The Asia-Pacific Partnership brings together Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the United States.
It aims to guarantee economic growth and energy security, as well as bringing down greenhouse gas emissions.
groups contend it will have little impact without financial incentives,
and may persuade other nations away from the Kyoto Protocol process.
principle, the Asia-Pacific pact includes all “clean” technologies,
though the focus is firmly on coal, as all six nations are either major
producers or consumers.
Samuel Bodman also lauded the role of
nuclear power. “Nuclear is to me an obvious requirement on a
going-forward basis,” he said.
“In the US, we have had no new
nuclear stations built for 30 years; hopefully we can take care of
business at home before we start preaching to others.”
The meeting concludes on Thursday, and Australian ministers have downplayed expectations of a dramatic outcome