February 10, 2009
Climate change has at last been recognised as, arguably, the biggest problem facing mankind. The United States is now led by a president who does not share the reluctance of his predecessor.
However, the problems to surmount are enormous and made more complicated by:
· uncertainty as to cause
· uncertainty as to speed
· uncertainty as to technology
· mammoth cost
· who pays
· reconciliation with sustainable development.
There is no single solution.
Only a spectacular breakthrough will produce acceptable results. It is essential to choose specific priority areas which can produce tangible results within a reasonable period.
The first choice is obviously clean coal technology. It is also essential to recognise that climate change is a common problem requiring a common solution.
We begin with a stark fact. There can be no solution without China and China cannot be expected to carry the main financial burden.
The timing could not be worse with the world in economic recession. But the money is there, it just has to be re-allocated (eg from Iraq).
However, a huge investment in clean air technology will also eventually earn profits. How do we create a gigantic public-private-partnership by the US, Europe and China, but open to other members of the G12, which commit themselves to specific percentages of the investment in return for specific equity percentages?
Crazy dreaming? Maybe but it could spark off other ideas one of which may not be so crazy.Author : Stanley Crossick