GIS Dossier: Failed global climate policies
Since the 1990s, the international community has been trying to keep climate change under control – with less than stellar results. Despite initiatives like the 1997 Kyoto Protocol or the 2015 Paris Agreement, global temperatures are still well on track to increase by 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels – the threshold scientists say could lead to dangerous climate effects. Geopolitics and market forces are mostly behind this failure – as GIS experts have been pointing out for some time. In this Dossier, we bring together the analyses that paint the picture of how we got here.
Four implications of electric mobility
China is doubly dominant in electric vehicles (EV), as the world’s biggest market and largest battery maker, with 55 percent of global production. EV makers also increasingly depend on critical raw materials from China such as lithium, cobalt, graphite and rare earths. This growing dependency, along with production bottlenecks and the environmental costs of EV production, may limit its impact on the global energy mix.
The limited global impact of Trump’s ‘America First’ energy policies
Coal is back in the U.S., with production and exports rising. This has coincided with a President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies in the energy sector. But coal’s comeback is more a function of market forces than politics. And it could be short-lived. Despite all the sound and fury, Mr. Trump's initiatives to support fossil fuels will have far less of an impact on energy markets and global efforts to reduce climate change than his critics claim. Europe, however, could still benefit.
The long road ahead for electric vehicles
The rise in popularity of electric vehicles has generated plenty of hype. But they still make up a tiny percentage of cars on the road, and are expensive relative to their gasoline- and diesel-burning counterparts. So far, their impact on the environment is minimal, even excluding the fossil fuels it takes to make them and the resource exploitation required for their batteries. While advances in technology can always surprise, there is no reason to expect the demise of the internal combustion engine anytime soon.
China won’t save global climate protection policies
China has made big strides in greening its energy sector. But while some hope this means the country can become a new leader in the fight against global climate change, Beijing’s goals are different. The moves it is making now are aimed at putting China in an advantageous geopolitical position, especially in terms of trade. Moreover, its momentum on the green energy front may not be sustainable.
The importance of trade and technology in reducing carbon emissions
Emerging economies are frequently criticised for developing their economies at the expense of the environment. But figures show that if they adopted a free trade regime they could access the same state-of-the-art technologies as the developed world. This move would reduce their carbon emissions dramatically. AS ECONOMIES...
Geopolitics: Durban climate change promises fail to deliver
Delegates to COP17, the United Nations climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, extended their annual gathering to try to hammer out an agreement. But what credibility does it have as the developed countries face economic crisis and the developing nations have pressure to grow. Our expert considers the Durban debates from an Indian perspective in this rep...
Geopolitics: India seeks reassurance on emissions in climate debate (UNFCCC Part8)
Durban diary- snippets from the United Nations climate change conference in Durban, South Africa. India demanded more reassurance from developed countries at the climate change conference in Durban. The poor could not be expected to be legally bound to reduce their emissions when they are practically non-existent, a government minister said. ...
Geopolitics: China's binding climate change commitment with strings (UNFCCC Part7)
Durban diary- snippets from the United Nations climate change conference in Durban, South Africa. While China argued with the United States over whether a binding commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can have conditions, India was isolated. THERE was, as usual, a tussle between China and the United States at COP1...