Climate Change Conference In Bali

Most of today’s leaders are meeting in Bali for an enormous climate conference. The main objective of the summit is to arrive at a first draft of a treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol []. The US was one of the few industrialized countries steadfast in its refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol []. One can only hope that the new version of the climate treaty, tentatively scheduled to start in 2012, will include enticing provisions to convince George Bush or his successor to sign on behalf of the US.

It seems likely that the leaders of the Bali conference will lean towards developing a market regulated carbon credit system as the backbone of any successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol []. Countries like the US and China have expressed support for carbon credit systems. Carbon credits would allow efficient companies to sell carbon credits to inefficient, polluting companies. To many people, this seems like a cop-out, as polluting companies can just throw money at the problem rather than taking steps to be a more sustainable operation. However, the hope is that these big companies might decide to stop throwing away money as these losses begin to add up every year. In any event, if natural resources [] and pollution are included in the free market system, it definitely heralds some improvement upon the do-nothing solution of the present.

What kind of treaty would be good for the world? If you were one of the world leaders present at the climate summit in Bali, what measures would you put forward to replace the Kyoto Protocol []?