Friday, 7 August 2009

Climate change problems

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s recent off-the-record but overheard, and thus reported, pessimism about a climate change agreement being reached in Copenhagen is looking more and more realistic by the day. This morning comes news that a key group of US Democrat Senators representing coal mining and manufacturing industry states have written to President Barack Obama saying they would not support any climate change bill that did not protect American industries from competition from countries that did not impose similar restraints on climate-altering gases.

This follows scepticism expressed reported overnight from China, the world’s biggest carbon- dioxide polluter, at the cost and effectiveness of extracting greenhouse gases from hundreds of coal plants and storing them underground. Bloomberg reported Su Wei, director-general of the climate-change unit at China’s National Development and Reform Commission, saying “carbon capture and storage, particularly for China, is not one of the priorities — the cost is an issue. If we spent the same money for CCS on energy efficiency and the development of renewables, it would generate larger climate-change benefits.”

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