NZ Herald: Cancun talks highlight climate dilemma

Brian Fallow writes in the New Zealand Herald about the aftermath of the Cancun climate change talks, and the extent to which any progress has been achieved.

The essential dilemma, around which much of the argument rests, is simply to what extent poor countries should be able to industrialise themselves and lift their people out of poverty, ‘without cooking the planet in the process’.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Kyoto recognised the value in harnessing the power of prices and markets. It recognised that shifting relative prices in a way that enabled technological solutions to be commercially viable was better than relying on regulation.

“It recognised that international carbon trading could help even out the cost curve across countries and encourage them to take responsibility for more of their emissions than they might if only local mitigation options were available to them.

“For all the Kyoto system’s imperfections it is important that those insights are not forgotten and the regulatory infrastructure embodying them does not fall into decay.”