Environment Forum

Obama honeymoon short-lived at U.N. climate talks

December 3, 2008

After one of the briefest honeymoons in history, developing nations at U.N. climate change talks in Poland are saying that President-elect Barack Obama’s goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions don’t go far enough.

Delegates from China and India told Reuters at the Dec. 1-12 talks that they welcomed Obama’s plan to cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 compared to less ambitious goals set by President George W. Bush. (Emissions are now about 14 percent above 1990 ).

But they say Obama isn’t going far enough. See story here.

Developing nations want all developed nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by far more. That, they say, is the condition for the poor to start slowing their own rising emissions from factories, power plants and cars.

Is that realistic? Can the United States cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2020? And how far should developing nations curb their own emissions as part of a new deal on global warming meant to be agreed by the end of 2009?

Comments
5 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

That was a very short honeymoon. Ouch. You pose one of the most vexing problems facing the world today, the rich nations versus the developing nations. What to do? Or as the French say: “Ou va la France?”

Posted by Danny Bloom | Report as abusive
 

the fight against the global warming is the most important challenge ever faced by the human civilisation. Obama heirs a stategic failure from Bush refusing Kyoto. To cut the emissions is possiblen but both cutting the emissiong and grapping the lead over the world doesn’t seam to be out of reach?

Posted by Meleze | Report as abusive
 

Obamas has worked out a relatively ambitious reduction plan. However, I am convinced that a decent emission trading solution can lead to further cutting in CO2.

 

The Climate Jihadists’ hype has been going on for much too long. The IPCC ist a gang of self-referential beneficiaries — of taxpayers frightened out of their minds by a cunning worldwide hype.
Man-made CO2, a fact that even IPCC sees unfit to deny, amounts to less than 4%, including what we and our livestock can’t help exhaling, industry, transportation.
The rest is produced by our Blue Planet regardless of population or no population: ocean vapor, whims of volcanoes, influence of solar activity, the latter having succumbed to its usual intermittent hibernation.

Anybody allowing themselves to be fooled into paying up for this well-devised racket, howling with the toothless but UN-backed wolves, will be laughing stock as soon as the 2nd decade of century #21 reveals the truth that real scientists teaching at Harvard, Princeton, M.I.T., Yale and other sources of genuine knowledge have been publishing in their quiet way. Their insight, even if not backed by Al Gore’s or UN money, bears more truth than anything else: It’s the earth, baby! And the galaxy, following their routines that are older and much more powerful than we mortals can ever hope to be, or become.

One tends to be grateful for the economic downturn we’re in, reminding us of an economy that is about to be wrecked not only by criminal bankers. Otherwise, the eco-jihadists would have their way, doubling the damage done for good, maiming Western civilizations and industries beyond repair.

Posted by Pedro the Innocent | Report as abusive
 

It is clear that the solution to eliminating climate change may be expensive. An EPA study determined that under LW, GDP would grow 1% less between 2010 and 2030. That also did not take into account the potential economic benefits. Utility agencies such as PG&E recognize that a cap and trade system may be inevitable.
A carbon cap will likely boost electricity and gas prices for consumers in the short term before carbon-free alternatives will be available to the market. There are potential solutions to assist energy customers. For example, a cap-and-dividend system could return the revenue raised by a cap-and-trade system to customers through rebates similar to the oil-industry dividends from the Alaska government that Alaskan citizens receive.

Many of the American states have adopted or are considering adopting cap-and-trade systems for carbon. Groups of states in the West and the Northeast have committed to or are considering mandatory carbon caps under which regional greenhouse-gas trading blocs are being launched.
A complete analysis of global warming can be found at http://www.onebiosphere.com
In 2006, in California, Governor Schwarzenegger signed the strongest carbon regulation in the country. California has implemented law AB32 mandating that the state’s greenhouse-gas emissions be cut to 1990 levels by 2020, a reduction of about 25%. It is essential that the federal government adopt a nationwide program; otherwise industries simply escape from California and other adopting states to unregulated states and no improvement will be obtained.
The economic impact is unclear. For example, a 2006 report by the University of California stated that AB32 would increase California’s GDP by $60 billion and create 17,000 jobs by 2020 because the entrepreneurial tech culture will add many new companies in the energy efficiency field. Clean-technology start-up companies are being established in California. The American Solar Energy Society has estimated that there are 8 million jobs in the clean-tech sector and that field could grow to 40 million by 2030 as a result of new energy laws.

 

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