Wednesday, May 14, 2008

McCain climate proposals vague about India and China

While McCain's climate proposal seems fairly mainstream, if not as good as Obama's, there's been little discussion of his India and China proposals. Here's the text:

....If we are going to establish meaningful environmental protocols, then they must include the two nations that have the potential to pollute the air faster, and in greater annual volume, than any nation ever in history....At the same time, we will continue in good faith to negotiate with China and other nations to enact the standards and controls that are in the interest of every nation — whatever their stage of economic development....Pressing on blindly with uncontrolled carbon emissions is in no one’s interest, especially China’s. And the rest of the world stands ready to help.

So the question is what standards are in the interest of developing nations that McCain acknowledges have little responsibility for the current buildup of greenhouse gases. The good news is that McCain doesn't expressly take the usual hard line position that India and China have to freeze and cut their emissions "equally" with the developed world, despite having per-capita emissions that are one-tenth to one-third of the US emission level. That argument isn't intended to create better regulation - it's intended to kill any possible deal.

On the other hand, McCain doesn't expressly rule out that position. Nor does he take what I'd consider an equitable position - an equal, per capita emission allocation to nations regulating either annual emissions or total contributions to greenhouse gases. Any position by McCain that developing nations should be restricted to lower per-capita emissions than the US isn't going to do well internationally, but whether he'll fight conservatives he point out growing total emissions from developing countries isn't clear. It's vague.

UPDATE: Having scanned Obama's proposal, it's better in general than McCain but no more specific about India and China.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.