Forerunners and Policy Tunnels
Title: Forerunners and Policy Tunnels
Citation: Leszek JESIEŃ (ed), European Union Policies in the Making, Kraków, Tischner European University, 2008, 249-263
Based on a comparison of the carbon dioxide emissions of three EU member states and Switzerland for the period 1870 to 2003, we show that for cumulative pollutants focusing on yearly emissions is utterly misleading. Furthermore, we are presenting a critical appraisal of Mohan Munsinghe’s argument, that developing countries could learn from past experiences of the industrialized world by adopting measures which would permit them to ´tunnel´ through the emission peaks that present day developed countries have had before a downturn of emissions. As all industrialized countries are emitting carbon dioxide in quantities well beyond their fair share of a sustainable global emissions level, there are no examples for developing countries to follow. Unilateral measures to curb climate change could provide an example for latecomers to follow, allowing them to tunnel through the peak emissions. Thus, our paper supports unilateral cuts in greenhouse gases, such as those agreed during the Spring Council meeting of EU heads of government in March 2007.
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