International

Climate change is a global challenge and requires a global solution. Through analysis and dialogue, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is working with governments and stakeholders to identify practical and effective options for the post-2012 international climate framework. Read more

 

Eileen Claussen's Statement on Nomination of John Kerry as Secretary of State

Statement of Eileen Claussen

President

Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

December 21, 2012

We strongly applaud Sen. Kerry’s nomination as Secretary of State.

Sen. Kerry has a long history of supporting policies to help the environment. No member of Congress has devoted more energy over the past two decades to strengthening the international effort against climate change.

Global climate change is one of the key challenges of our time. Sen. Kerry will bring vital expertise and knowledge on the issue of climate change as we endeavor to work toward a meaningful, balanced international agreement in 2015.

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Contact Laura Rehrmann, rehrmannl@c2es.org or 703-516-0621

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Linking emissions trading programs can advance climate policy

Despite some modest steps forward, the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha was a reminder of the slow-paced nature of international negotiations. Annual conferences like these aim to achieve international agreement on reducing the man-made emissions causing climate change, but 20 years after the launch of the U.N. climate process, global emissions continue to rise.

Progress is being made at the domestic level, however, and in many cases, the policy of choice is emissions trading. One of the major challenges going forward is linking these emerging trading systems to achieve the efficiencies of an integrated global greenhouse gas market. The European Union and Australia have announced plans to link their trading systems, and California and Quebec are working toward linking theirs.

Doha Climate Conference - COP 18

UN Climage Change Conference
COP 18 & CMP 8

Doha, Qatar
November 26-December 7, 2012

In a package of decisions dubbed the Doha Climate Gateway, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change brought to a close two long-standing negotiating tracks and advanced a new, unified track aiming for a comprehensive legal agreement in 2015.

The Doha Climate Gateway:

C2ES Resources:

New Publication:

  • The Durban Platform: Issues and Options for a 2015 Agreement, December 2012.
    The Durban Platform talks, aiming for a new global agreement in 2015, present an opportunity to assess and strengthen the international climate change effort. Since launching the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change two decades ago, governments have tried both "top down" and "bottom up" approaches. Neither has achieved the levels of participation or ambition needed to reverse the continued rise of global greenhouse gas emissions. Going forward, governments should draw on both models to forge a more effective global agreement.

Presentation in Doha:

  • The Durban Platform Negotiations: Work Stream One, ADP Special Event, December 8, 2012
    Daniel Bodansky, Lincoln Professor of Law, Ethics and Sustainability, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, shares his analysis of the components of an effective global agreement.

Other Resources:

Elliot Diringer's Statement on Doha Climate Talks

Statement of Elliot Diringer
Executive Vice President
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

December 8, 2012

The Doha deal is unfortunately the best we can hope for at this stage. This is the first year of a four-year negotiation, and what was most important was moving the process forward. This agreement does that.

The countries most vulnerable to the rising toll of climate change understandably pushed hard for more. But it was clear coming into Doha that the major economies were not ready to commit to stronger emission cuts and there would be little new money on the table. We can't expect strong new commitments until 2015, the deadline the parties have set for a comprehensive new deal.

Keeping Kyoto alive for now was essential politically but is merely a bridge to a more balanced agreement in 2015. The fact that it was so hard to achieve even Doha's modest steps underscores how tough it will be to deliver a truly meaningful accord in three years. It's also a reminder that we can hardly rely on the UN process alone to mobilize strong global action. We need to ramp up efforts in other multilateral forums too and, most especially, at the domestic level. International agreements work only if countries have the domestic policies needed to deliver on them. Putting those policies in place remains the highest priority.

It's disappointing the United States was not in a position in Doha to credibly claim that it's on track to meeting President Obama's emissions pledge. An ambitious and durable deal in 2012 will be possible only with stronger U.S. engagement. The administration should move forward right away with sensible rules to cut power plant emissions. And Congress should seriously consider a carbon tax as part of a broader solution to the country's mounting fiscal challenges.

Contact Laura Rehrmann to arrange interviews, rehrmannl@c2es.org or 703-516-0621

About C2ES
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Not yet on track to 17 percent reduction

With the latest round of international climate change talks underway in Doha this week, it’s a good time to check in on the United States’ pledge, made three years in Copenhagen, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.  Are we on track to meet that?

The short answer: Not yet. But projections depend on assumptions, so let’s look at a few recent projections.

Shifting gears in Doha

I recently replied to a question on the National Journal blog: “Should international negotiators abandon the top-down multilateral system to confront climate change and find another way?”

You can ready other responses at the National Journal.

Here is my response: True enough, the Doha climate talks will produce no big breakthroughs. Compared to the last three conferences – Copenhagen, Cancún and Durban – Doha is indeed a pretty ho-hum affair.

That is no doubt disappointing to anyone still looking to the U.N. climate negotiations to deliver a quick, decisive response to the challenge of global climate change. In actuality, though, the diplomatic humdrum in Doha marks a long overdue shifting of gears that could, in time, produce a far more practical approach.

U.S. law underscores need for global action on aviation emissions

President Obama’s signature on a law authorizing the Secretary of Transportation to bar U.S. airlines from participating in the European Union’s emissions trading system underscores the urgent need for a global approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the fast-growing aviation sector. 

The new law is the latest salvo in an international brouhaha triggered by the EU’s attempt to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from flights to or from Europe.  Dozens of countries, including the United States, protested the move as an affront to national sovereignty and a violation of international aviation agreements. The EU acted after years of talks within the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) failed to result in a global agreement to reduce aviation emissions.

C2ES to Present New Study of Multilateral Climate Options at Doha Talks

Press Release

November 28, 2012

Contact: Laura Rehrmann at rehrmannl@c2es.org

                                                                             

                                                                           C2ES TO PRESENT NEW STUDY OF MULTILATERAL CLIMATE OPTIONS AT DOHA TALKS

Analysis Outlines Issues and Alternatives for a 2015 Agreement

 

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) released a new report today outlining major issues and options before the world’s governments as they attempt to craft a comprehensive new climate change agreement by 2015.

International law expert Daniel Bodansky, the report’s author, will draw on the analysis in a presentation Saturday in Doha at a Special Event organized by the co-chairs of the new negotiating round launched last year in Durban.  Bodansky, an Arizona State University law professor, will also present the report December 5 at a C2ES side event in Doha.  (See event details below).

The new C2ES report analyzes issues under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, in which parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set a 2015 deadline for negotiating a new agreement to start in 2020.  The report reviews past efforts under the UNFCCC in assessing options for a new agreement.

“We’ve now tried both a binding top-down approach and a voluntary bottom-up approach, and neither has delivered the strong global effort we need,” said C2ES Executive Vice President Elliot Diringer.  “The Durban Platform talks are a chance to draw on the best of both approaches to create a more effective and durable agreement.”

The paper, titled “The Durban Platform: Issues and Options for a 2015 Agreement,” contrasts the more top-down approach taken in the legally binding Kyoto Protocol with the parallel voluntary framework established under the 2010 Cancún Agreements.  Formal adoption of a new round of emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol is among the issues to be decided in Doha.

The report identifies three broad options under the Durban Platform: an expanded Kyoto-like approach, legalization of the Cancún architecture, and a multi-track approach in which countries can choose among different tracks.

“In designing a new agreement, parties can draw both on their concrete experiences in the UNFCCC and approaches taken in other multilateral arenas,” said Professor Bodansky.  “The trick is arriving at an approach that enables both strong commitments and broad participation.”

Professor Bodansky has authored or co-authored  previous C2ES reports, including “Multilateral Climate Efforts Beyond the UNFCCC,” “The Evolution of Multilateral Regimes: Implications for Climate Change,” and “Towards an Integrated Multi-Track Climate Framework.”

C2ES also released a second report, “Market-Based Climate Mitigation Policies in Emerging Economies,” summarizing climate-related policies adopted or under consideration in Brazil, China, India, South Africa and South Korea. The report, by C2ES International Fellows Sara Moarif and Namrata Patodia Rastogi, focuses on market-based policies including trading systems, taxes, and different forms of subsidies.

C2ES Executive Vice President Elliot Diringer is available for interviews about the talks, what to hope for, and what to expect. Email rehrmannl@c2es.org to arrange interviews.

 

Special Event Dec. 1 in Doha

Professor Daniel Bodansky is one of two non-party experts invited by the Co-Chairs of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action to present on the contours of a 2015 agreement.  The event, which will include remarks by UNFCCC Executive Christiana Figueres, is set for 1-2 p.m. in the Qatar National Conference Centre (room TBA).

 

C2ES Side Event - The Durban Platform: Issues and Options for a 2015 Agreement

What: A discussion of the new C2ES analysis of issues and options for a 2015 agreement under the Durban Platform.

When: Wednesday, December 5, from 8:15-9:45 p.m.

Where: Side Event Room 8.

Panelists:

Dan Bodansky, Lincoln Professor of Law, Ethics and Sustainability, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

H.E. Burghan Gafoor, Ambassador and Chief Negotiator for Climate Change, Singapore

Artur Runge-Metzger, Director, International and Climate Strategy, European Commission

H.E. Jo Tyndall, Climate Change Ambassador, New Zealand

Alfred Wills, Chief Negotiator – Climate Change, South Africa

Elliot Diringer, Executive Vice President, C2ES

 

C2ES Side Event - The Role of Global Corporations in Moving the Climate Needle

What: This panel, presented in coordination with the Dartmouth Tuck Business School, will examine how companies are exhibiting climate leadership today, and what would help push the private sector to move the needle further and faster.

When: Wednesday, November 28, from 8:15-9:45 p.m.

Where: Side Event Room 8.

Panelists:

Giles Dickson, Vice President, Environmental Policies & Global Advocacy, Alstom

David Hone, Senior Climate Change Advisor, Shell

Tim Juliani, Director of Corporate Engagement, C2ES

Professor Anant Sundaram, Tuck School of Business

 

About C2ES
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

The Durban Platform: Issues and Options for a 2015 Agreement

The Durban Platform: Issues and Options for a 2015 Agreement

December 2012

By Daniel Bodansky

Download the full brief (PDF)

 

The Durban Platform talks, aiming for a new global agreement in 2015, present an opportunity to assess and strengthen the international climate change effort. Since launching the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change two decades ago, governments have tried both "top down" and "bottom up" approaches. Neither has achieved the levels of participation or ambition needed to reverse the continued rise of global greenhouse gas emissions. Going forward, governments should draw on both models to forge a more effective global agreement.

Daniel Bodansky
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Market Based Climate Mitigation Policies In Emerging Economies

Market Based Climate Mitigation Policies In Emerging Economies

December 2012

by Sara Moarif and Namrata Patodia Rastogi

Download the full report (PDF)

Press Release

Summary

Used by governments for decades, market-based policies are mechanisms to control environmental pollution at various leverage points. They work by changing relative prices – raising the cost of emissions-intensive activities and/or lowering the cost of lower-emitting alternatives – to provide producers and consumers with a financial incentive to adopt the latter. Policies that can be considered market-based include taxes and fees, subsidies, and the use of pollution control trading systems. Market-based policy instruments provide financial incentive to elicit specific behavior from entities responsible for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, whether consumers or producers.

This brief provides an overview of market-based policies aimed at reducing GHG emissions in several major emerging economies: Brazil, China, India, South Africa and South Korea. By implementing regulatory and marketbased policy instruments across their economies, these countries are seeking to promote cleaner technologies and behavior change while also promoting economic development and growth.

Sara Moarif
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