John Podesta

John Podesta is chair of the Center for American Progress and a member of the Global Ocean Commission, an organization developing recommendations to improve international management of the high seas.

Climate & Energy

We can’t let Russia screw up plans for a huge marine reserve

The U.S. and New Zealand are leading a push to create the world’s largest marine protected area around Antarctica. Russia needs to get on board — and then cooperate on climate efforts too.


Hey Obama: Defend our public lands!

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.Cross-posted from ThinkProgress. The nation’s public lands are a central part of our national heritage, imagination, and spirit. Millions of Americans visit our public lands each year to experience history firsthand and wonder at some of the nation’s most beautiful natural spaces. That’s why one of my proudest accomplishments from the Clinton administration is working with Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt to protect these national treasures. Together, we helped President Clinton protect more land in the lower 48 states than any president since Teddy Roosevelt, from the north rim of the Grand Canyon to President …

Energy Policy

How to get cleaner cars and use less foreign oil

This post was coauthored by Sierra Club Chairman Carl Pope and League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski. It was cross-posted from the Center for American Progress. America is suffering from another oil price shock less than three years after prices hit a record of $147 per barrel in July 2008. Over the past month, oil prices rose by over $20 per barrel, or more than 25 percent. This price hike reflects political instability in many oil-producing Persian Gulf nations. And Wall Street speculators have preyed upon oil users’ fears about supply interruptions to bid up the price to over …

progress report

Taking on the global energy investment challenge

A report released today provides a progress report on commitments to clean energy development in China, India, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Senate should consider deforestation as part of climate bill

This post was co-authored by Lincoln Chafee, former Republican senator from Rhode Island. It was cross-posted from Roll Call. It is imperative that the United States find effective and economically viable solutions to the climate crisis. Our elected officials and business leaders ask how we can afford the global transition to a low-carbon economy. Around the globe, developing nations ask how they can afford to reduce their emissions without sacrificing their hopes for a better life. There is no single answer, but there is one unexpected solution that offers hope on both fronts. To date, the climate debate has focused …

A Pittsburgh Protocol

G20 needs to advance the global agenda on climate change

Cross-posted from the Center for American Progress. The world’s leading economic powers remain inactive in preventing an increase in the serious impacts of climate change. While current impacts of climate change may not have reached alarming proportions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that will happen soon enough if we do not take early action. What is causing increasing concern, as the December U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen draws ever nearer, is the continuing deadlock in political action to deal with this challenge. There is clear consensus among those arriving in Pittsburgh this week for the G20 that …

The clean-energy investment agenda

This post was co-authored by Center for American Progress Vice President for Energy Policy Kate Gordon, Senior Fellow Bracken Hendricks, and Policy Analyst Benjamin Goldstein. It was cross-posted from Wonk Room. The United States is having the wrong public debate about global warming. We are asking important questions about pollution caps and timetables, carbon markets and allocations, but we have lost sight of our principal objective: building a robust and prosperous clean energy economy. This is a fundamentally affirmative agenda, rather than a restrictive one. Moving beyond pollution from fossil fuels will involve exciting work, new opportunities, new products and …

A New International Report on the Prospects for a Global Deal on Clean Technology Transfer

Governments need to lead the breakthrough on technology

The Obama administration once again convened a Major Economies Forum in Italy this week after the G-8 meeting, which included the world’s 17 major carbon emitters, to press forward on a global deal on climate change and the transformation to a clean-energy economy. One of the most important announcements to come out of this meeting is the formation of a formal “Global Partnership” on “low-carbon, climate-friendly technologies.” This program aims to double the current commitments on technology assistance by 2015 and sets a deadline for mapping actions for achieving a range of important goals on this cluster of issues by …

Waxman-Markey: We’d better try to get what we need

Once again Mick Jagger is right: “You can’t always get what you want/But if you try sometimes you just might find/You get what you need.” The House of Representatives is poised for its first-ever floor debate and series of votes on a landmark measure to reduce global warming pollution. This bill is revolutionary in its intent and, while imperfect in its means, it deserves the support of progressives. The American Clean Energy and Security Act would establish binding greenhouse gas pollution limits, set the first national renewable electricity and efficiency standards for utilities, and improve efficiency standards for buildings and …

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