Pacific Rim countries vow to do … very little
Throughout the year, members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation group (APEC) — including the U.S., Japan, and Australia, among others — have had a series of meetings. In early September, they will announce their grand plans, which, according to a leaked draft (PDF) obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald, contain "aspirational" greenhouse-gas emission targets. Here’s what APEC will shoot for:
• Setting up a Network for Energy Technology to promote collaboration on research on clean coal, nuclear power and renewable energy such as solar and wind power;
• A non-binding, unenforceable 25 per cent reduction in energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of GDP) by 2030;
• Agreement on the importance of preserving and managing forests as "carbon sinks", and
• Agreement to encourage investment in renewable energy and develop international standards for sustainable biofuels to spur on alternative fuels.
Color me unimpressed. This guy’s got it about right:
"This is a ‘Made in the USA’ declaration, covered in Australian coal dust," Ben Pearson, of Greenpeace, told the Herald. "It’s Bush and Howard trying to look good for elections but actually doing nothing."