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Author Discusses His Vision Of Alternative To Kyoto Accord

Dan Kadison – SCMP | Updated on Oct 20, 2008

An environmental writer thinks the international community should produce a new climate agreement because the Kyoto Protocol is failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

British author Oliver Tickell, 50, sat down with the South China Morning Post in the city last week and asserted why the climate accord should not be reformed after its commitment period ends in 2012.

“We’re better off having an agreement which is actually designed to be effective, efficient, equitable, and operate on a much shorter time scale,” Tickell said.

His book, Kyoto2, published in July, focuses on climate change, the accord and solutions to the problem.

The Kyoto Protocol, which was signed in 1997 and came into force in 2005, calls for certain industrialised countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet targets for a 2008 to 2012 commitment period. Unfortunately, Tickell added, it “provides an inadequate vehicle” for eliminating pollution.

“For a global agreement that’s really going to work … all countries have to be involved. And greenhouse gas emissions have been going up faster in the developing countries with no targets – China, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa.”

Tickell’s book proposes a three-part strategy in which greenhouse gas permits are capped and auctioned off to fossil-fuel producers, the estimated trillion dollars raised from the purchase of permits are spent on energy improvements, and regulations are enacted.

“What you’re doing is bringing down those emissions in a targeted way, in an efficient way. At no point does the carbon price have to reach a level at which it is painful.”

As for Hong Kong, Tickell said there were environmentally friendly features that other countries could learn from – walkways and the Mid-Levels escalator for pedestrians, plenty of green space and the taxis burn clean fuel. To make it greener, Hongkongers could build more green-friendly buildings, use more energy-efficient appliances and rely on less air conditioning, he added.

Tickell met city corporate and environmental leaders, discussing climate change with the Climate Change Business Forum and the Earth Champions Foundation.

The Post is the media sponsor of the Earth Champions Quest, a search for local people and groups improving the environment.

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