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Faking It on Climate Change

32 30 5
19.02.2019

STANFORD – Around the world, ever more countries and regions are promising to stop emitting carbon dioxide sometime in the future. The European Union is winning plaudits from green activists for aiming to be “carbon neutral” by 2050. Cities from Adelaide to Boston to Rio de Janeiro are announcing similar goals, with Copenhagen saying it will get there already in 2025.

Feb 11, 2019 George Soros argues that the EU cannot be saved without transforming its political party systems.

Feb 8, 2019 Nouriel Roubini explains why the global outlook for the coming year will depend on a broad range of interrelated factors.

Jan 24, 2019 George Soros sounds the alarm about the surveillance-state authoritarianism being pioneered by Xi Jinping in China.

Such promises should be greeted with a healthy dose of skepticism. Copenhagen, for example, will likely miss its target, even after spending twice the planned cost of going carbon neutral. In fact, we can learn a lot about the emptiness of these promises – and how governments fiddle with their emissions numbers – by examining the little-known story of one of the first countries that vowed to achieve zero emissions.

This was New Zealand. In 2007, a year before she left office, then-Prime Minister Helen Clark set out her vision for the country to become carbon neutral by 2020. The United Nations duly hailed her as a “Champion of the Earth.” But cutting carbon is not as simple as gaining attention.

The latest official statistics show that New Zealand’s total emissions will actually be........

© Project Syndicate