It’s shaping up to be a crucial week in climate politics.
At the centre stands the EU, cast, in this guise, as climate champion - determined to take a small step towards charging airlines for the full environmental costs of flying, and to tax highly-polluting forms of fossil fuels.
Attacking the EU from every side is a large number of countries with serious clout.
If the EU is successful on either of these issues, it opens the door to other measures.
One idea that’s been batted around for years is some kind of border adjustment.
So country A levies charges on emissions from companies making a certain type of goods.
Country B doesn’t have any such charges. So when Country A imports that type of goods from Country B, it imposes a tariff to compensate.
You can see immediately why it’s controversial; not least because if such measures came into use for climate change, might countries also try to impose them for other reasons? How far would it go before it became protectionism?
That’s why all kinds of observers from environment groups and business lobbies will be watching this week’s events like hawks.
Showing posts tagged sustainability
If it’s in the news, don’t worry about it. By definition, news is something that almost never happens.
…It feels insensitive to say it so close to the tragedy, but it’s true. What people should worry about are things so common that they’re no longer news. That’s what kills people. Terrorism is so rare, it’s hardly a risk worth spending a lot of time worrying about.
Some rough stats:
Aircraft crash deaths per day: 3
Aircraft pollution deaths per day: 27
Global deaths from extreme weather events per day: 77
Americans killed by gun crime per day: 87
War deaths globally per day: 151
Deaths from earthquakes per day: 172
Car crash deaths per day: 3,200
Deaths from AIDS per day: 4,900
Deaths caused by smoking per day: 13,700
Deaths from air pollution per day: 16,400
They’re all tragic (though we might care about some age groups more than others, and the risk varies), but these are important numbers for deciding which issues deserve the most money, time and thought.