G-20 misses opportunity to tackle world's dependence on fossil fuels

UPDATE JUNE 29  |  Reuters AlertNet invited me to write an extended blog post on this, which you can now read here: G-20 misses opportunity to tackle world's dependence on fossil fuels. My original post is below.

The oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico should have been a call to action for the G-20 leaders meeting in Toronto to take serious steps to begin immediate reductions in the world's dependence on fossil fuels and encourage a more rapid move to clean energy technology and jobs.

While the G-20 leaders deserve some credit for not backtracking on urging nations to phase out wasteful fossil fuel subsidies in the medium term, world leaders once again missed a critical opportunity to seriously tackle the world's dependence on fossil fuels or to encourage a more rapid move to clean energy technology and jobs.

There is no way we can watch the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and consider it rational policy that most developed nations continue to reward oil companies with tax breaks and other subsidies.

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One Comment

  1. ggarver
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    This post is right on! It is now the next G-20 meeting in Seoul, and today's story is about the failure to reach a trade deal with South Korea. I am dismayed that the Obama Administration wants South Korea to lower its auto fuel emissions standards so more U.S. cars can be sold there. How, in 2010, can such a negotiating position be possible? It is yet another worrying sign that the U.S. trade-environment assembly, which has been tweaked but generally unchanged since NAFTA, is outdated and increasingly irrelevant to the problems of the 21st century. Climate change anyone? And we want to sell big fat U.S. gas guzzlers to other countries? Outrageous! Meanwhile, provisions that in 1993 had some potential as teeth are rapidly losing their credibility. At the CEC, NAFTA's environment commission, the citizen submission process – it's only active "teeth" – is in shambles, with the NAFTA governments sitting on votes on whether to approve factual records on allegations of weak enforcement for over 3 years in two cases and over 2 years in a third. Justice delayed, justice denied – and it's pretty soft justice to begin with. Does anyone else agree that it is high time for a completely revamped, 21st century approach to trade and environment – one that is designed to drive down the global ecological footprint, with a drastic reduction in the material and energy throughput of the global economy? The uncompromising science of climate change, biodiversity loss, alteration of the global nitrogen flux, increasing ocean acidification and more is such that we have to move sharply in that direction.
    Geoff Garver
    (Jennifer, if you read this, let's find a way to touch base!)

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