Saturday, April 24, 2010

US State Dept. - Climate Change is Real; US Congress, Not Sure What To Do About It

Ministers from large western economies were supposed to meet in DC this past week. Many participated by video conference because of European flight cancellations. Inside the meetings, parties discussed preparations for the December meetings in Cancun and short-term financing options for climate aid to developing nations. To the media, representatives praised the progress made in the Copenhagen Accord and attempted to manage expectations for Cancun outcomes.

The US State Department released its 5th US Climate Action Report, which is intended for submission to the United Nations. The report says, "Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced” and “the effects of climate change are already evident.” The report was released just days before the Senate-led climate bill is set to be formally proposed on Monday April 26th. Authors of the bill were backing away from suggestions that the legislation would include any sort of vehicle fuel tax, oil sector “fee” or transportation “linked-fee.” The Obama administration has prioritized the energy and climate bill to follow the passage of financial regulatory reform. Neither of which are “quick hits.”

Other Relevant Articles:

· The rogue People’s Climate Summit in Bolivia attracted 142 nations and called for halving carbon emissions by 2020 (more aggressive than anything proposed by signatories to Copenhagen Accord), limiting earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees (compared to 2 degrees per Copenhagen Accord) and creating of an international climate tribunal to judge countries on global warming.

· BASIC nations to debate Kyoto Protocol extension alternatives. South Africa proposes solutions as basis for talks.

· Potential discord looming over state autonomy within federal climate bill.

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