Planet Gore

The Flex-Mex Effect

A new twist has emerged in the desperate scramble to achieve some sort of agreement among the EU-25 (2 EU countries are exempt from Kyoto) as to who must actually engage in what emission reductions to meet their collective post-2012 promise of -20 percent below 1990 GHG-emission levels.
According to the Guardian, the UK wants to redefine what sort of credit it gets for what its companies do under Kyoto’s “flexible mechanisms” — or FlexMex — such as Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation, under which credit is obtained for “clean” projects in other countries. UK green groups are beside themselves at the prospect, which tends to be their default stance anyway.
This move would be revolutionary because these illusory “reductions” are now not counted toward an EU country’s (domestic) renewable energy promise. [It must be said, these reductions are no more illusory than the EU’s claim of reducing emissions by paying China to slow down HFC production, which China had ramped up for the abject purpose of collecting those Euros.] That’s what the UK wants to change, thereby reducing what it actually must do domestically to comply with the grandiose EU promises.
All of which is simply another way of reminding policymakers of the games people play when entering such arrangements as Kyoto or the EU’s own scheme. These rackets scream out for gaming by well-heeled constituencies which often include nation-states. In this particular case, it pits rent-seeking constituencies in the UK — “clean coal” vs. wind power being the example highlighted by the Guardian — against each other over whose case the country will plead at the EU level.


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