5. Once a signer, always a signer
With the return of Conservative party control, Canada is now having trouble getting to its Kyoto target of 6% below 1990 levels. Despite this, Canada is still offering a modified cut: 20% below 2006.
Likewise, in Australia and New Zealand; despite some power shifts from Future Party commitments to returns to Fossil Party control; both nations are still offering cuts, albeit weakened.
Kevin Rudd took over in 2008 and signed Kyoto on his first day, and is now under threat of being toppled by the issue. Yet, Australia is still offering 25% below 2000 levels with an international agreement or between 5 – 15% without one.
New Zealand’s former leader Helen Clarke had pushed for a 90% renewable powered nation by 2025. Now under conservative leadership; New Zealand is downgrading those more ambitious goals – but they are still offering 10-20% below 1990 by 2020.
Once a signer, always a signer. And now that the US can possibly sign this year, next time every nation will be a former signer.
These are the reasons I’m hopeful about Copenhagen. Overall, rich countries’ pledges for 2020 average out to 16-23% below 1990 levels, according to UN figures. While the US, China and India lag far behind, it is a beginning. And one that is better than we have ever had.
Image: Steve Jurvetson
Figures from PointCarbon
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