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

The doors are open

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 …

Hinting (in the State Controlled News) from China

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 …

Day 17 in the Sprint to Copenhagen

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 …

The ties that bind

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 …

Deforestation & Adaptation Texting for Copenhagen

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 …

The texty road to a climate deal

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 …

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 …

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 …

From applause to the reality of the work ahead

Towards the Copenhagen climate change agreement: Round One

The international global warming negotiations in Bonn, Germany have just wrapped up. They began with a loud applause as U.S. Special Climate Envoy Todd Stern announced that the U.S. is back. And they ended with the reality of the work that needs to be done over the next 8 months to ensure a strong agreement in Copenhagen. There is a lot to be done, but there are hints that with strong leadership the pieces can fall into place. While little progress was concluded at this meeting, some signs emerged of how the pieces will fall into place for the four …