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Who Needs a Climate Treaty? Focus on Green Energy for the Poor

The world community should abandon efforts to sign a climate change treaty and instead focus on combating global warming by imposing carbon taxes to fund renewable energy breakthroughs and to deliver clean electricity to the world’s poor, according to a report by 14 academics and scientists.

The group recommends pursuing a “politically attractive and relentlessly pragmatic” climate and energy strategy that combines a huge research effort into renewable energy with pragmatic, near-term solutions, such as reducing heat-absorbing “black carbon” produced by wood fires and industries.

Their conclusions, released in the so-called Hartwell Paper, call for an end to efforts to forge a global climate treaty or slash Western consumption and a focus instead on supplying green electricity to the world’s 1.5 billion people who currently lack it.

“The raising of human dignity is the central driver, replacing the preoccupation with human sinfulness that has failed and will continue to fail to deliver progress,” said lead author Gwyn Prins of the London School of Economics.

Other scientists have attacked the paper, saying that the Kyoto climate treaty has reduced emissions growth and that signing a more far-reaching pact remains an important goal.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360

photo: ya_rayah_2007