Jake Schmidt

Jake Schmidt is the international climate policy director at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). He blogs regularly on international climate change issues and the negotiations on NRDC's Switchboard and tweets at: http://twitter.com/jschmidtnrdc

Dear Representative Upton: Have you been to China recently?

The House subcommittee voted for Representative Upton’s unlimited carbon pollution bill (otherwise known as the Asthma Aggravation Act of 2011).  Before the subcommittee vote, Chairman Upton said: “Those that compete in global markets state that they are losing jobs to nations like China that have no intention of burdening their industries with similar restrictions. And once those jobs are gone, they’re gone.” (Greenwire, sub req.) Such an impression isn’t grounded in the facts and the evidence on the ground.  Here are some facts which would give you a different conclusion: China became the largest market for new clean energy investments …

How to advance climate change & clean energy action at Rio+20 Earth Summit

The world’s leaders will be meeting June 4-6, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Rio+20 Earth Summit.  This Summit is an important opportunity to advance concrete action on global warming.  Countries, companies, state and local governments, and civil society groups should be expected to come to Rio prepared to strengthen the implementation of their existing commitments and undertake new actions to reduce emissions.  One of roads to Rio should lead through clean energy and deforestation actions that help to address global warming pollution.  I’m in NY for preparatory meetings for Rio+20 so here are some initial thoughts as I …

Could US-Mexico agreement lead to cleaner and more efficient vehicles in Mexico?

This post was written by Rich Kassel. According to Forbes and other reports, U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón have reached an agreement on resolving the two nations’ long-standing dispute over cross-border trucking.  The two presidents met in Washington today, and supposedly agreed to a phased-in plan that would authorize both Mexican and U.S. long-haul carriers to move goods in both countries, provided the Mexican trucks meet U.S. safety standards. With any luck, this will close a dispute that has lasted for several years. What should come next? A great next step would be for Mexico to adopt …

Into the belly of the beast

Secretary Clinton stresses importance of international climate investments

Secretary Clinton made a compelling case for why pollution-reducing investments are in the U.S. interest.In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear that U.S. investments in global efforts to reduce carbon pollution are strongly in the U.S. interest. She also made the case for why these investments are a key priority. The House Republicans passed a budget which dramatically guts U.S. international investments in efforts to cut carbon pollution, while President Obama’s budget request makes key investments in these efforts. This hearing comes at a critical moment, as there are two competing …

Key Members of Congress Ring Alarm Bells

In the midst of the House of Representatives efforts to completely gut US international investments in addressing carbon pollution, two leading Members of Congress highlighted how the US would lose out from these draconian cuts.  US Representative Howard Berman (D-CA) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) both raised the alarm bells – and they are ringing very loud as the House just voted for these major cuts.  Now eyes are on the Senate and the White House to reject these cuts. In the midst of the House debate, Rep. Berman took to the House Floor to remind us that these cuts …

House Republicans Pretend Global Warming Doesn’t Exist

Today the US House of Representatives is expected to vote on an amendment which would deny any US funding to international efforts to determine whether global warming is happening and how much damage it will have on humanity.  The amendment from Rep. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) would block funds to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  This amendment would effectively pretend that global warming doesn’t exist and then put blinders and earplugs on so that reality doesn’t get in the way of their opinion.  It is like when my children put their hands over their ears, close their eyes and …

House Republicans Pretend Global Warming Doesn't Exist

Today the US House of Representatives is expected to vote on an amendment which would deny any US funding to international efforts to determine whether global warming is happening and how much damage it will have on humanity.  The amendment from Rep. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) would block funds to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  This amendment would effectively pretend that global warming doesn’t exist and then put blinders and earplugs on so that reality doesn’t get in the way of their opinion.  It is like when my children put their hands over their ears, close their eyes and …

Obama’s International Climate Budget Proposal Would Make Key Investments

President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2012 budget request that will invest in global efforts to reduce carbon pollution, tap into the growing global demand for clean energy, and make countries more resilient to the impacts of global warming.  It takes a scalpel to the international funding at a time when we need more international climate funding, not less.  But the President’s budget invests in efforts that benefit Americans, while the recent House Republican proposal would gut programs that help America compete and protect its citizens from the damages of carbon pollution.  One budget invests in what is needed, the …

Republican budget proposal guts international climate funding

The House Republican budget proposal would gut key programs to help the US tap into the growing global demand for clean energy technologies, reduce the carbon pollution from the loss of tropical forests, and help developing countries adapt to the impacts of global warming.  Cutting these programs is bad for American competitiveness and for the environment. In the last fiscal year (FY2010), Congress approved funding of $1.3 billion for global efforts to reduce carbon pollution and help developing countries become less vulnerable to global warming impacts.  This funding is a very, very, very small share of the overall US budget—around …