Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to the Guardian, President Trump’s imposition on trade tariffs on China is causing a breakdown in the international cooperation required for large scale climate action.
Global tensions holding back climate change fight, says WEF
After extreme weather-related events, there is ‘need for international cooperation’
Larry Elliott Economics editor
Wed 16 Jan 2019 20.00 AEDT
Growing tension between the world’s major powers is the most urgent global risk and makes it harder to mobilise collective action to tackle climate change, according to a report prepared for next week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The WEF’s annual global risks report found that a year of extreme weather-related events meant environmental issues topped the list of concerns in a survey of around 1,000 experts and decision-makers.
But with Donald Trump announcing protectionist measures aimed at China and the European Union in 2018, the report said the international cooperation needed to limit further global warming was breaking down.
“Global risks are intensifying but the collective will to tackle them appears to be lacking. Instead, divisions are hardening,” the report said, noting that nine out of 10 people polled said they expected relations between the leading powers to worsen in 2019.
“The world’s move into a new phase of strongly state-centred politics, noted in last year’s Global Risks Report, continued throughout 2018.”
The 2019 WEF Global Risks Report is available here.
What I don’t get is, since government scientists claim solar power is now cheaper than coal, why is all this international cooperation required to tackle climate change? Surely countries like China, which have access to the cheapest solar panels on the planet, will rapidly move to embrace low cost zero carbon renewables of their own free will, regardless of what they think of President Trump.