Monday, December 09, 2019

Climate Change: Showing us how its done

The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:

Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in the next eleven years.

The law targets carbon neutrality by 2050 and includes a robust monitoring system. New legally-binding targets will be set every five years, with a ten-year perspective. The first of these will be set in 2020.

In what the government claims is a first for a national legislature, the new law also has a commitment to climate engagement internationally. This includes an ongoing obligation to deliver on international agreements, including climate finance to developing countries.

The government will need to provide an annual global report on the international effects of Danish climate action, as well as the effects of Danish imports and consumption. It will also need to provide a strategy for how its foreign, development and trade policy is driving international climate action.

Its both a broader law, and a more ambitious one. In particular, that 70% by 2030 target shows us what we should be doing. But instead of setting that sort of target, and backing it up with policies to match, our politicians sold us out to the dairy industry, sacrificing our future so 23,000 farming families could pretend their businesses were profitable for a few more years. And we should not tolerate that any longer.