Any viable climate pact targeting a carbon-neutral European Union by 2050 should meet five conditions in order to achieve an equitable deal, Hungarian think-tank Századvég‘s recent study concluded.
The first half of the study lays out the basics of global population growth (expected to peak between 10 and 11 billion around the year 2100) and the correlation between global average temperature and carbon dioxide emission from 1850 to 2017.
It points out that China alone is responsible for 27 percent of global emissions, followed by the United States with 15 percent.
The second half the study lists the criteria which any equitable pact should be based on:
Supranational bodies such as the United Nations have not proven to be more effective in coordinating major projects, nor should a central authority dictate to individual nation-states about what part of the costs they are supposed to bear.
The costs of emission reduction should not be borne by citizens, for two reasons. First, the population is only responsible for 10 percent of emissions while the rest is tied to power generation, industry and transport.
The second reason is that low-income people in society are the most vulnerable to any consumer price increases resulting from emission reduction costs. If these members of society are hit with unbearable costs, it will lead to destabilization and even major upheaval.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has signalled a willingness to support a climate pact but only under the right conditions.
“We are ready to sign the EU 2050 climate agreement with conditions,” Orbán said last week. “We cannot allow Brussels bureaucrats to have poor people and poor nations bear the costs of the fight against climate change.”
If the principle of equity is not observed and the EU forces citizens to bear the costs of climate protection, it will ultimately backfire and lead to less commitment towards the environment and a potential loss of the social consensus that currently exists regarding the issue.
A climate pact needs to take a pragmatic approach that isn’t dictated by extremists who want to completely do away with society as it currently exists.
While technologies must change in order to achieve the emission reduction goals, measures towards achieving these goals should not contain political biases or vested interests of major lobby groups.
This principle primarily concerns the assessment of nuclear energy, which is indispensable for the success of a climate pact project.
The EU has already shown an openness to accepting nuclear energy as carbon-neutral due to the efforts of Visegrad Four countries.
Hungary should support all initiatives that are based on solid scientific evidence, are realistic, and provide a safer future. Decarbonization is unavoidable and necessary, but it should not be a means to radically alter society.
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