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Jake Schmidt's Posts

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Obama needs to outline his yardstick on global warming

In the midst of the fight of our lives (the House floor debate on the American Clean Energy and Security Act), a coalition of major U.S. groups called for the Obama Administration to outline its "yardstick" on global warming. What is it that this "scientific and pragmatic" Administration will use to measure our efforts to solve global warming pollution -- its yardstick? Well the CEOs of 47 U.S. organizations, representing environment, faith, development, and youth groups have an answer. As the letter from these groups to the Obama Administration says: "We are writing to urge you to work with other …

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U.S. is starting to make a down payment on funding international climate change efforts

This past Wednesday (June 17, 2009) the Appropriations Subcommittee of the House of Representatives that has jurisdiction over the international global warming pieces of President Obama's budget passed a bill that supported increasing US commitments to these needed efforts. The funding will make a "down payment" in helping developing countries deploy clean energy, reduce global warming pollution from tropical deforestation, and support adaptation in the most vulnerable populations around the world. Funding this "down payment" is critical as it provides a bridge to the significant source of funding that could come for these activities through the US clean energy and …

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Transparency at the Bonn climate negotiations

You might think that the international global warming negotiations are occurring in some backroom, filled with smoke, and outside the view of the world.  That is after all, what some opponents to global warming solutions would have you believe. But that is the farthest thing from the truth.  Let me give you some examples from the current negotiations in Bonn, Germany. Negotiating Texts are Publicly Available.  Those texts that I discussed (in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) are all available on the United Nations Framework Convention website.  You and everyone else in the world (when they are translated …

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Coming global warming limits in China?

News coming out of China provides some hints that they might adopt a domestic limit to reduce their global warming.  As China Daily is reporting: “China will put in place carbon dioxide emissions targets for its economic and social development programs, the central government has promised.It also signals that China may be considering national goals for carbon dioxide levels when it maps its 12th five-year national development plan (2011-15).” The central government announced the plan at the State Council meeting that was chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.  The State Council is the highest executive and administrative body in China and …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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That status of global warming negotiations in Germany

I’ve been participating since last Monday in the global warming negotiations in Bonn, Germany.  This is the second session of the year. There are 53 days of official negotiations before Copenhagen and Monday was day 17 (the first 10 days were held in the first session in Bonn in March -- as I discussed here -- and days 11-16 were held last week). The first week slowly worked its way through the things that need to be addressed at this stage in the negotiations.  The pace will need to pick up the rest of the week and, most importantly, the …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Some heated exchanges from Bonn on “binding commitments” for Copenhagen

Photo: Ellas DadPhoto: Ella's DadIn the climate negotiations occurring in Bonn, Germany there is an emerging debate on the form of "commitment or action" developing countries will undertake (as the Economic Times in India points out).  This has been a long running debate in the international global warming negotiations, but it has gained more focus as the negotiating text (that I discussed in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) has included proposals where all countries undertake binding international actions. As countries were doing the "first reading" -- going through the text to flag areas of disagreement or where they …

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Part 3: Draft negotiating text proposed for Copenhagen agreement

I've discussed in part 1 -- shared vision and developed country emissions reduction commitments -- and part 2 -- developing country emissions reductions and the incentives to encourage them to go further -- key proposals that have now been produced in a new draft negotiating text for the Copenhagen agreement. I'll now discuss the last 2 of the six key elements of the Copenhagen Agreement contained in these texts -- deforestation emissions reduction efforts and adaptation assistance. Deforestation Emissions Reduction Efforts Providing incentives to slow the loss of the world's tropical deforestation is an essential component of the world's efforts …

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Part 2: Draft Negotiating Text Proposed for Copenhagen Agreement

As I discussed in my previous post, the draft negotiating texts for the Copenhagen agreement are now out. With the release of these texts the world now begins the serious work to get an agreement in Copenhagen -- marking them up and getting agreement. As in the other post, I’ll briefly discuss how the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) act that just passed out of committee touches upon these issues. For more details on the tools to help secure a strong international agreement contained in this bill see this post. There are 6 key elements of the Copenhagen Agreement …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Draft Negotiating Text Proposed for Copenhagen Agreement (Part 1)

The draft negotiating texts for the Copenhagen agreement are now out.  Just like in the US Congressional debate on climate legislation and other parliamentary debates around the world, you need to have a proposal on paper before you can make changes, find consensus, and get agreement that can be signed into law (ratified, etc.).  Sort of like the "mark-up" process that has just occurred in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. And that is basically the same process that has now emerged internationally.  The Chairs of the key negotiating groups under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have …

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Putting the US in a Strong Position to Secure an International Climate Agreement: Waxman-Markey Bill

The Waxman-Markey "American Clean Energy and Security Act" (HR 2454) is now out (see here for the full bill and here for NRDC's top line summary of the entire bill).  The House Energy and Commerce Committee is focused this week on intensive sessions to pass the bill (you can watch it all live on the Committee's website). Passage of a cap on global warming pollution - THIS YEAR - will put the US in a solid position to help secure a strong international global warming agreement in Copenhagen, Denmark this December.  And as my colleague David Doniger said, this bill …

Read more: Climate & Energy