International Alchemy within the Post-Copenhagen World: Transforming Critical Infrastructure Across Two Hundred Divergent Economies
Suffolk University Law School
October 12, 2011
Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, Vol. 34, p. 303, 2011
Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 11-46
For climate control, there is a new emphasis on control of global warming gas (GHG) emissions, for which sustainable technology transfer is key to sculpting emerging world infrastructure. The world stands at a crossroads because in the next decade, there will be an unprecedented, massive investment in electrification in developing nations. Once installed, those power production facilities will remain in place, contributing to global warming – or not – for at least forty years and in many cases much longer.
Choices in energy technology infrastructure made now certainly will be the signature of the world carbon footprint for the remainder of this century, during which we may pass the point of no return in terms of the impacts of global warming. There is no Kyoto Protocol requirement that developed economies make any shift to zero-carbon or low-carbon renewable power, and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), under the Protocol, relating to developing countries, has likewise navigated in another direction.
Increasingly, the politics of global warming have come to eclipse the importance of the science and technology of global warming. The science reveals, at the least, significant long-term trends and global risks in warming; the technology exists to reduce GHG emissions substantially. By contrast, recently, there has been a failure of political consensus within the United States, and serious dissention within blocks of the European Union and among developed and developing countries of the world regarding the political scope and range of carbon policy and initiatives.
This article analyzes the science and international legal protocol of global warming and charts the proven and successful way forward in the energy sector, even in the most politically diverse developing nations. Specifically, this article focuses on what has worked in key developing countries of fast-growing Asia and examines how those techniques are being adapted to one of the last four communist political systems in the world. This article also explores creative ways to monetize the value of sustainable energy initiatives illustrated.
As we sculpt legal institutions internationally to accompany one of the most abrupt and profound infrastructure changes in history, world climate change hangs in the balance. We will set the context and role of power technology in climate change and the future of the planet.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Date posted: October 13, 2011