APEC to world: Kiss my “aspirational” target


Stop the presses!

Asia Pacific countries have agreed [to] a common statement on climate change after intense wrangling between rich and emerging nations, a source involved in the talks said Friday.

The document, which is not binding, contains an “aspirational” target of reducing energy intensity….

Oh, it gets better:

… the statement urges nations to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent by 2030 but does not make an enforceable commitment.

Do they even realize that in just one year, 2006, U.S. energy intensity fell 4% — and energy intensity (energy consumed per dollar of GDP) routinely drops 2% a year in this country, and more in fast-growing countries. If U.S. GDP grew 3% a year for the next 23 years, we could meet that 2030 target even if our energy consumption rose a whopping 75% (and of course, our carbon emissions could rise more than that since this is an energy goal, not a carbon goal).

And it ain’t even enforceable.

If John “You cannot be serious!” McEnroe were dead, he’d be turning over in his grave.

5 Responses to APEC to world: Kiss my “aspirational” target

  1. CL says:

    Sadly, this is John Howard’s attempt to make Australia (one of two nations not to ratify Kyoto) a world leader on climate change mitigation. It is also done in a vain attempt to bolster his electoral chances in the as yet unannounced but impending election.

    He only just acknowledged, say 6 months ago, that climate change was a pressing issue.

    Sorry, Mr. Howard, I’m still not voting for you!

  2. Olin C. says:

    Dear CL,

    I don’t mean to nitpick, but it’s important to keep our facts straight given that pretty much the only tool in the denialist toolbox is nitpicking. (You know: to a hammer, everything looks like a nail.) Australia is one of two “first world”, or ‘leading industrial’, nations to not ratify. (Let’s see if a denialist can guess which is the other.) Nations like China & India also haven’t signed on, but it’s still arguable whether they’ve climbed out of the bowels of the third world into the second — forget about first. As far as ‘leading industrial’ goes, that opens up the proverbial “can of worms” with which to give the denialists a veritable ‘field day’. I should hope your point well taken that two of the foremost nations which ought to be at the forefront providing much needed leadership on this issue aren’t even pathetic followers unless, of course, this APEC “document” or “statement” (it appears to not even be an agreement for Satan’s sake) fits your definition of “pathetic”.

  3. Simon D. says:

    The game of broken telephone (broken wire service?) has led to many news articles reporting an APEC ‘target’ was a 25% decrease in emissions by 2030, or that the energy intensity is a measure of emissions from economic activity, which of course it is not.

    I’ve been writing about the problem with intensity-based targets for three years (with reference to US and Canadian policies). What’s become clear is that the problem is not just that intensity-based targets are likely to be weak of meaningless. The problem is they confuse people and lead to the mistaken conclusion real action has been or is being taken by the countries involved.

  4. Joe says:


    I suspect the reason why President Bush and his ilk like intensity is precisely because it confuses people, or leave them with the wrong impression. He gets credit for appearing to take action without actually having to.

  5. Ron says:

    The US signed on to Kyoto in 1998. The senate has not ratified it, however.