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

Will US international climate funding be cut?

The Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Hal Rogers (R-KY) just proposed significant cuts to US international funding.  While the proposal he just released doesn’t spell out the exact cuts for different programs and categories of funding, we expect that the Majority Members of the committee will recommend cuts to US international climate funding.  Such cuts would be “penny wise and a pound foolish” as this funding benefits the US in many ways. For the “State, Foreign Ops” subcommittee Rep. Rogers proposed funding for Fiscal Year 2011 of $46.95 billion, which is 17% less than President Obama’s original FY 2011 …

Race to innovate the clean energy future heats up after the president’s address

President Barack Obama, in his annual State of the Union address called for new economic growth based on clean energy and innovation. The president proposed obtaining 80 percent of America’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. Other countries are seeing the benefits and reaping the rewards of making smart investments in the clean energy future. So as Obama hinted: the U.S. better get in the game or it will be left on the sidelines. The numbers (and pictures) tell the story. Clean energy investments are happening right now all throughout the world. Clean energy market is real and growing.  …

What's on the menu

Global warming work ahead on heels of presidential summit

Chinese President Hu Jintao is in D.C. for a state dinner with President Obama and for a series of meetings over the next three days. They have a lot on their plate (both literally and figuratively), so climate change won’t be the only thing that they discuss. But you can sure bet that it will come up.

Spirit of working together rules the day in Cancun climate talks: Let's hope it continues

The international climate agreement reached in Cancun, Mexico established a foundation from which to build greater international action on global warming.  But a key sub-story is also the spirit that countries brought to Cancun.  Countries came to Cancun, with a desire to work together and find common ground on the greatest challenge that faces humanity – addressing global warming.  We’ll need that spirit to continue as we have a lot of work ahead.  Countries pushed, nudged, and cajoled each other to move towards an agreement that matched their vision of success – in essence they negotiated.  But in the final …

Let's get going

Cancun agreements: A foundation from which to build greater international action on global warming

The Cancun Agreements are a detailed set of visionary yet pragmatic principles that make important strides to begin implementing the agreement reached in Copenhagen last year. The countries gathered in Cancun made progress on emissions reductions, greater transparency, forest preservation, and the creation of the green fund to help mobilize much needed investments throughout the world.

I'm transparent why can't you be

This is the second in a series of video blogs from the global warming negotiations in Mexico (see the first one on the mood at the beginning of the global warming negotiations).  It covers what happened in the second day of the two week negotiation session.  The real sub-story from yesterday was around transparency – both on finance and emissions reductions. The European Union detailed its progress towards its contribution of “fast start funding” that developed countries pledged in Copenhagen to aid developing countries in reducing deforestation emissions, deploying clean energy and adapting to the impacts of global warming.  This follows a …

Improving accuracy and accountability in the International Global Warming agreement

Having a strong, credible, and transparent system for tracking greenhouse gas emissions and the actions of a country is an essential building block of an effective international system to address global warming. This was a key issue at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009. Resolving important details about how these pieces would be implemented has been a central part of the ongoing global warming negotiations. Advancing progress toward robust measurement, reporting, and verification systems is an imperative for the Cancun Climate Summit.  Today NRDC is releasing a new set of recommendations on how to improve the current system of “tracking the …

Countries aren't sitting on the sidelines waiting for a final international climate agreement

One of key outcomes of international global warming negotiations must be a focus on what actions key countries undertake to reduce their emissions.  On that front, there are promising signs.  Countries accounting for over 80% of the world’s emissions have now committed to specific actions that they will undertake at home to reduce their global warming pollution.  You might think that countries are sitting around and waiting for others to act, for the international agreement to be finalized, or for a new “binding” agreement before they take steps to reduce their emissions.  If you think this, you would be completely …

It isn't all about the margaritas

Important actions can be accomplished at climate negotiations in Cancun

We are not going to get a binding treaty in Cancun, Mexico when 194 countries meet to continue negotiations on international efforts to address climate change. And we are not going to finalize all of the details of new international efforts. But if you believe, as I do, that real action can occur without a "binding" agreement or having all the details completed you’ll be surprised to learn that some key things might actually happen in Cancun.

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