The EU countries apparently reached an agreement today to cut back CO2-emissions by 20% by the year 2020. This seems like good news, under the precondition that the CO2 reductions are not executed in the EU, or at least not in the western countries. The relative high marginal cost of abatement in Western Europe, in combination with certain diffusion traits of CO2, makes it almost immoral not to focus on clean development mechanisms in less developed countries.
CO2 diffuse very quickly in the atmosphere and spreads globally in an instant. This means that the potential harm that this compound can impose on nature and its inhabitants is felt equally much, regardless if there is one enormous emission source, or a million small ones. Thus, the reduction of CO2 has to be done where the abatement cost is the lowest, otherwise we are wasting our money.
For some people it might seem like the rich countries are running away from their responsibility of cutting down on their own emissions. However, if the abatement is performed in a less developed country this might very well mean a development of that poor country’s technology, paid by the rich country. And it will furthermore mean that the less developed country will be better equipped the day more CO2 reductions will be demanded by the commonwealth.
Hopefully the above mentioned is the road that the (highly) developed countries of EU want to go. It is actually the most sensible and logical road to chose, and if the focus is not exclusively on CO2 but also on energy efficiency/conservation, than we might have a somewhat brighter future to look forward to.
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