Bill Shorten has restarted the debate on emissions targets immediately before the United Nations conference in Paris.
The debate about emissions targets is always couched in percentage terms which makes it easy for the opponents of any form of reduction to argue that Australia’s emissions are amongst the lowest in the world in absolute terms so were not really a large part of the problem. However, our emission rates are amongst the highest on a per capita basis.
So here’s an idea.
Each nation needs to provide carbon sinks at least equal to their emission rates. In addition, each nation will be allowed credit for an area of ocean (which absorbs carbon dioxide) equal to its landmass.
This will set equitable goals for carbon reduction rather than simply insisting that people produce by 45% by 2030 etc.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to do the sums.
Getting agreement may be more difficult. China and America are going have to accept a large amount of the responsibility for controlling climate change.
But this system allows a measurement that will circumvent many of the arguments of the climate deniers, particularly in Australia.
It’s probably not going to cut much ice with Trump administration in the US, but have come get into the White House, logic and reason will go out the door.