Dr 50% CO2, Keio University professor Hironori Hamanaka wants countries to agree on reducing CO2 emissions by 50% until 2050. Setting a target would at least put pressure on everyone to take serious action - now. At a meeting recently in Hayama, Japan, he further outlined the urgent task, as he helped organise a policy forum on Asia's Post-2012 Climate Regime. Meanwhile, China is now the world's largest CO2 emitting country, the average American citizen (Joe plummer, anyone?) continues to be top of the list in terms of per capita emissions, and Japan just announced it is increasing, not decreasing CO2 emissions. So, in the photo above, I imagine that Dr Hamanaka is pointing at this amazing graph:
(Graph from UNEP, data from World Bank 2004)
In his opening remarks at the recent IGES meeting, professor Hamanaka argued that economic development is vital to lift poor communities out of poverty. However, economic development is also the key driver of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
This meeting explored how a post-Kyoto agreement can help developing countries grow and combat climate change.
Participants urged governments to create better conditions to attract investment and support for climate relevant technologies - with private investments seen as a major driver of technology transfer:
In India, for example, renewable energy purchase obligation and application of preferential tariff on renewable energy under the 2003 Electricity Act paved the way for a significant increase in private investments in renewable energy, particularly of wind and hydro.
Dr 50% CO2 himself, Hironori Hamanaka, has lobbied hard for the G-8 countries to take the first step. He wants them to make progress in discussions on financial assistance and technology transfers that would prompt developing countries to implement emission-reduction efforts.
What is also needed is to deepen the discussions on fairer approaches on global emission cuts, including the Japanese-proposed sectoral approach in which sector-by-sector emission cuts can be added up to emission reduction targets. Professor Hamanaka has warned that if the United States hesitates to reach an agreement on the goal among the G-8 countries, however, "the result may be devastating."
So what will you do?
Written by Martin Frid at greenz.jp