Dominos falling — Australia, New Zealand, Germany, …

“The [New Zealand] Government said yesterday it would probably ditch the rest of the emissions trading scheme as scheduled beyond 2013 if its major trading partners did not have schemes as well.

The scheme, already passed into law, is supposed to be a comprehensive “all sectors, all gases” scheme with a phased-in entry for different sectors.

But the confirmation by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Tuesday that he would shelve his proposed scheme until at least 2013 has forced the New Zealand Government to hedge its commitment to a full scheme.  …

Environment Minister Nick Smith said yesterday “New Zealand would be unlikely to proceed with the full obligations for the energy, transport and industrial sectors and to add additional sectors to the emissions trading scheme in New Zealand if there was not progress in other countries, particularly of trading partners like Australia, Japan and the United States.””  “Govt may ditch emissions trading scheme

“Frustrated by the climate change conference in December, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is quietly moving away from her goal of a binding agreement on limiting climate change to 2 degrees Celsius. She has also sent out signals at the EU level that she no longer supports the idea of Europe going it alone.  …

Merkel will no longer endeavor to contractually implement the 2-degree target — in other words, to reach a legally binding agreement with specific reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. She doesn’t want to be snubbed again because she has realized that important countries won’t lend their support the next time around either. This was confirmed two weeks ago at the nuclear summit in Washington by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.  …

After having dreamt of achieving the great objective, now it’s time for realpolitik. Merkel and [German environment minister] Röttgen had to admit that countries like China and India will not submit to a mandatory target that others have contrived. They are continuing to pursue their climate policies, but are focusing strictly on domestic issues — and neither is willing to relinquish any of their sovereignty.”  “Merkel Abandons Aim of Binding Climate Agreement

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