Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wheels Fall Off US Climate & Energy Bill

The long awaited Senate proposal on US climate change legislation was derailed this week by partisan posturing. Sen. Kerry announced he is placing the bill on hold until the Senate can address immigration reform, and Republican Sen. Graham says he is withdrawing his support and involvement in the bill. Republicans view the hasty prioritization of immigration as a ploy to secure Hispanic votes leading into the midterm elections. There has been little bipartisan groundwork or compromises reached on immigration. Lobbying groups are pushing to save and maintain the urgency of climate legislation. Elsewhere in congress, proposals for financial reform of derivatives calls for a study of carbon markets "to ensure an efficient, secure, and transparent carbon market, including oversight of spot markets and derivative markets." In Australia, the once promising carbon regime legislation is likely to be delayed several years.

The UN’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC) put forth suggested proposals for climate finance, suggesting that $35-$45 billion of annual investment will be needed to both bring electrification to all and reduce CO2 emissions. Funding sources would include grants from developed nations, multi-national development banks, carbon credit proceeds from charcoal substitution programs and other sources. On a related note, Spain became the first country to contribute ($45m Euros) to the UN’s Adaption Fund, which was established under the Kyoto Protocol and is funded in part by proceeds from fees on Certified Emissions Reductions.

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