A Hotchpotch Of National Energy Policies
If the Volkswagen emissions scandal tells us anything, it’s that meeting ambitious emissions reductions targets is proving to be very testing (if you’ll pardon the pun). But governments are not helping themselves by continuing to subsidize fossil fuel usage to the tune of USD200bn annually in the form of tax breaks and spending programs, according to a recent report by the OECD. And this is just the combined total for the 34 OECD members and six key emerging economies. If we are to wean ourselves off our addiction to hydrocarbons, then clearly something very dramatic has to happen, and it has to happen soon, because the current hotchpotch of national energy policies clearly isn’t doing the trick. Something much more joined-up is required, but I don’t envisage that happening any time soon, Kyoto Protocol or no Kyoto Protocol. I don’t want to get drawn into the debate about whether man-made climate change is taking place or not, but one only has to witness the alarming and unpleasant miasma of pollutants that are regularly seen to hang over the world’s major cities to realize that something needs to be done to clean up our air. The technology is there to change things. Unfortunately the political will isn’t.