It is the fatal flaw at the heart of both the EU and US climate policies which threatens to make a scientifically robust and fair climate deal in Copenhagen impossible. It is the reason that when the EU says it is cutting greenhouse gases 20% by 2020 or 30% if there is a global deal in Copenhagen, they are in fact putting a cut of just 10 or 15% on the negotiating table. And it is the reason why when the UK says it is cutting greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050 it is actually committing itself to a cut of only 40% within the UK.
This week we take a look at the creative accounting mechanism which makes this sleight of hand possible – carbon offsetting under the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism – more commonly known at the CDM.
We take the argument against large-scale carbon offsetting under the CDM to the head of the Market-Based Instruments Unit at the European Commission, Yvon Slingenberg; and we hear from Tom Picken, Head of the International Climate Change at Friends of the Earth, who is co-author of the most accessible report yet on the case against carbon offsetting under the CDM, “A Dangerous Distraction.”
Special 45-minute programme celebrating the launch of a major new independently produced climate change documentary-drama, The Age of Stupid. Made by the producer of McLibel and financed by “crowd-funding”, the film stars Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite living alone in 2055 in a world devastated by climate change. He looks back at archive footage and asks “why didn’t we act when we had the chance?”
The programme takes a look behind the scences and features exclusive interviews with producer Franny Armstrong and head of animation Leo Murray, various audio clips, plus appearances from Postlethwaite and Caroline Lucas MEP. This is an edit of a 60-minute live Clear Spot programme on ResonanceFM.
Caroline Lucas MEP talks us through the new package of targets and policies on climate change that have just been announced by the European Union. There are new targets on CO2 emissions, renewable energy, energy efficiency and biofuels. We also discuss the effectiveness of EU climate action on aviation, road transport, emissions trading, decentralised energy and, er, lightbulbs!
EMISSIONS TRADING IN EUROPE
After last week’s interview with Soumitra Ghosh on the negative impacts of CDM projects in India, we conclude our look at carbon trading by speaking to the director of Climate Action Newtwork Europe, Matthias Duwe.
– What are Europe’s environmental NGOs doing to help reform the CDM?
– What is their view on the effectiveness of EU Emissions Trading Scheme as a way of cutting our greenhouse gas output?
“The Montreal talks will be the key to determining the future for all life on earth.” – Tony Juniper, Director, Friends of the Earth in The Guardian, 23/11/05
“It’s very important that pressure is maintained in the next few months so that the United States and all parties go to Montreal and are prepared to talk about long-term targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.” – Bob Ward, Royal Society spokesperson on Climate Confidential, 13/7/05
- What will the European Union’s negotiating position be in Montreal?
- Will Margaret Beckett be arguing for adequate and binding targets?
- How do we get the US back on board?
Catherine Pearce from Friends of the Earth International guides us through the fog.