I frequently hear the argument that industrialised countries are not doing as much about climate change as they should because they are not going to be severely impacted. However, I wonder if that’s true when I look at Australia and the USA, which are already now being hammered by the impacts of climate change. For instance, Texas suffered a devastating drought last year, the agricultural losses of which have now been put at USD 7.62 billion. And that is just the start, a huge part of the country will probably undergo what Joe Romm calls dust-bowlification. And still the USA continues to be incapable of embarking on any kind of ambitious climate policy.
The hypothesis that countries’ climate policies can largely be predicted by looking at their fossil fuel reserves seems to have rather more explanatory power.