Once more into the logical breach here.
The chance of global warming temporarily reaching the 1.5C mark in the next five years has risen to more than 40 per cent after new monitoring data from the Arctic, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
1.5 doesn’t actually matter. Yes, it’s a political target but that’s all it is. But still, leave that aside:
Some people will have noticed the furious opposition that sustainable cost accounting gets on this site any time that I mention it.
For good reason. It’s an idiot idea. Or, to be less aggressive, something that has not been thought through.
As a recent opponent made clear, his real objection was that business becoming net-zero carbon will require changes to consumption patterns, and he did not like that idea. Everything else he said had to be read in that context.
No, that’s not what was in fact said. Rather, in an idea I suspect picked up from here, holes were picked in the arguments being used.
Sustainable cost accounting demands that a company work out how much it will cost for it to become net zero. This is to include Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. As a logical construct I asked, well, could Tax Research LLP become net zero given Scope 3 emissions? The company produces a website, Scope 3 would include the emissions from the energy consumption of those downloading a web page from that site. Given that Tax Research LLP cannot control the energy mix used to do that then we cannot insist they be responsible for it. Nor put the cost of eliminating emissions from this source on their balance sheet.
There was no adequate answer to this from the P³. But then, you know, P³.
There’s a much larger error in the logic here though:
And that is why I think sustainable cost accounting matters. And that it matters now. And that pussy-footing around business becoming net-zero carbon is not something we can afford.
Even if we are alarmist about matters we do not desire business to become net zero. We do not desire any sector, part or component of the economy necessarily become net zero. We desire that the world as a whole become net zero – well, OK, alarmists do at least. This means that there is still significant room for certain individual actors to be emitting. Which is nice – that means we can all continue exhaling now and again. For yes, human physiology does produce CO2 emissions.
We might well want some other process, something over there, to be inhaling that CO2 but we’d like to carry on breathing. The same is true of an industry, a sector, even an individual business. It is the balance of all the emissions that matters, if any do at all, not those from any one or another source.
The base idea that every and each business must become net zero is as stupid as demanding that each lung does so.
But then, you know, P³ and the grift for grants……