Saturday, December 5, 2009

2 Days Until Copenhagen

The Obama Administration recently issued its statement of a good faith commitment to reduce US carbon emissions "in the range of 17%" by 2020 as compared to 2005 levels. The pessimistic can say this is far below the IPCC suggested necessary cuts of 25% - 40% cuts by 2020 for developed countries. The optimist can say that a ~17% reduction is all but to be ratified by Congress and additional cuts may still be negotiated. The statement also included expected 2025, 2030 and 2050 milestones (30%, 42% and 83%), the list of the "host of Cabinet secretaries and other top officials" now planning to attend Copenhagen and the litany of current and future US climate initiatives.

Denmark recently floated a climate treaty framework in these last days before Copenhagen, which called for 50% reductions in CO2 emissions by 2050 with 80% reductions to be achieved by developed countries. The Danish proposal was met with immediate opposition by China and India given the implications on their emissions and economic development as well as the proposal's lack of short-term binding reduction targets for developed countries.

Climate Financial Aid - today contributions are in hot debate, but for tomorrow this "blogger" asks are these funds for proven emissions mitigation and/or climate change adaptation projects or global/in-country technological innovation (venture = risky) investment. The climate slush fund will be a boon for many, but who? In-country employment, in-country contractors, multinationals, global technology licensors? Once cash is allocated to a country, will money be allowed to flow back out to international private industry or will protectionism prevail?

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