IFA Climate Change Project Team Chairman Jer Bergin has described the current climate change regime used by the United Nations for counting carbon and setting emission reduction targets from sectors such as agriculture as flawed and inaccurate.
Speaking following the launch in Dublin this week of the research paper <i>Building the Climate Change Regime, </i>which was completed by the World Resources Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme, Mr. Bergin said, “If the world is serious about tackling the issue of climate change, then the basic methodology used must be correct.”
He said, “International climate negations in recent years in Copenhagen and Cancun have failed to address important issues, such as carbon leakage. It would be wrong to impose crude emission reduction targets in emission efficient regions such as Europe that would actually lead to an increase in international emissions. At a time when global demand for food is projected to increase by 50%, emission efficient food production would be replaced by less sustainable food, produced for example on former forested lands, such as in the Amazonian region.”
Jer Bergin said, “Carbon adjustment mechanisms should be introduced at EU borders. This would create an equivalency of standards between the sustainable model of food production in Europe and other regions. This will also encourage less sustainable food producing regions to improve their environmental standards.”
Mr. Bergin has also challenged the logic of EU proposals to exceed international emission reduction obligations. “Ireland and other EU Member States currently require realistic and achievable targets. Excessive ambition which is driven by ideology will do nothing to assist in domestic and international economic recovery, particularly given that the existing target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% over the next ten years is going to be extremely challenging.”