Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lowering Expectations for Cancun - Why Am I Not Surprised

Large developed and developing companies met this past week in New York City at the Major Economies Forum to discuss the components and prospects of a successful climate deal. Some are blaming the US’s inability to pass domestic climate legislation, but few are hopeful, including US climate envoy Todd Stern, that “in any way [there will be] a legal treaty to be done in Cancun this year” at the December meetings. However, Stern is standing by the US’s pledge to cut GHG emissions by 17% by 2020 compared to 2005 levels.

In the most recent attempt to yield US legislative progress, Senators Bingaman (D-NM) and Brownback (R-KS) have proposed the Renewable Energy Promotion Act, which includes a 15% renewable generation standard (including efficiency), in the hopes of passing such during the lame duck session post the November elections.

Elsewhere in NYC at the launch of the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Global 500 and S&P 500 report results, UN climate chief, Christiana Figueres, suggested that strong support for a climate treaty from businesses lobbying their governments is essential to progress. She cited the huge appeal of certainty and business opportunities for corporations the world over. An article from the Huffington Post warns about allowing business to lead on climate change regulation.

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