Wednesday, July 15, 2009

India commits to binding emission limits; no one cares; everyone still demand Indian emission limits

Via Eli, I learn that sometime before eight months ago, India unilaterally committed to greenhouse gas emission limits:

Even though there is no legal obligation on India in this respect, the Prime Minister of India made a commitment that India's per capita emissions will at no time exceed the average of the per capita emissions of developed, industrialized countries. We have thus accepted a limit on our emissions and at the same time provided an incentive to our partners in developed countries to be more ambitious. The more significant their reductions of emissions, the lower the limit we would need to accept for our own.

Two points: 1. India has committed to do more to limit emissions than the developed world, especially more than the US, because for the foreseeable future the US will have worse per-capita emissions than the average industrialized country. 2. Because India isn't responsible for the legacy emissions that have increased CO2 levels 30% so far, it is taking on more than its fair share by making this commitment.

Why this isn't better known is beyond me. Maybe if it got worked into Copenhagen agreements then it would help reduce attention to the denialists.

Two other items worth attention: first, an interview with a carbon capture and sequestration expert. I hadn't realized China was paying so much attention to CCS. That's a hopeful sign, if it actually works in the end. I still think that CCS could be the sweet spot in climate solutions by being the least painful way to limit emissions, and by combined with biofuel power, a way to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels. If it works.

Finally, 14 Things I Love and 6 I Hate About Waxman Markey is an excellent piece that's being cited a lot. I disagree with the rabid offset hatred, but more about that in some other post.

UPDATE: The Indian commitment dates to June 2008 from their National Action Plan on Climate Change.

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