PRIVATE FIRMS ’CAN HELP CLIMATE’

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PRIVATE FIRMS ’CAN HELP CLIMATE’

 user 2006-01-11 at 9:43:00 am Views: 57
  • #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.
    He
    told the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate that
    the job of governments was to help businesses take up clean
    technologies.
    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.
    Neither
    the US nor Australia is taking responsibility for the climate change
    they have caused or will cause in the futureErwin Jackson, Australian
    Conservation Foundation
    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.
    Global citizens
    Asked
    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.”
    The
    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.”
    His
    view was endorsed by Australian industry minister Ian Macfarlane, who
    told reporters: “The real emissions are coming from industry.
    “And
    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
    Comments
    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
    “Governments
    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.
    Environmental
    groups contend it will have little impact without financial incentives,
    and may persuade other nations away from the Kyoto Protocol process.
    In
    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