It’s great that climate change returns to the Senate agenda this week. The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, introduced by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) seems to be gaining some momentum, but the slow pace in the Senate makes it extremely unlikely that a vote will occur before the forthcoming U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen in December.
Failure to move a bill means it will be difficult negotiators to cut deals on future emissions targets in Copenhagen. Even so, the climate talks are likely to see progress on deforestation issues, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) reform, and, perhaps, some advancement in the understanding of sectoral mechanisms.
Kerry-Boxer is probably as tough as any bill can be in the Senate. This is not necessarily a bad thing; I think that the bill is a great step in the right direction; establishing a cap-and-trade scheme in the United States will provide the right incentives for American industries to reduce emissions in the most cost-effective way. However, as drafted, Kerry-Boxer contains a number of international carbon offset policies that are likely, if they remain unchanged, to result in wil... Read more