The global warming question is back on the political agenda with David Cameron likening cutting greenhouse gas emissions to house insurance. His argument is that if there’s a risk that they may be harmful, you want to guard against it. But given that ‘global warming’ is no respected of national boundaries, one thing that isn’t sensible is to simply send energy intensive industries and their jobs and profits overseas.
But this is just what the EU is doing, according to Bjørn Lomborg. He reports that:
‘From 1990 to 2008, the EU cut its emissions by about 270 million metric tons of CO2. But it turns out that the increase in imports from China alone implied an almost equal volume of extra emissions outside the EU. Essentially, the EU had simply shipped part of its emissions offshore.’
This is, perhaps, the most wrong-headed aspect of our approach to climate change.