Climate Compass Blog
I went to Disney World over the holidays. Among other things, I got to revisit the Universe of Energy at Epcot Center. There’s a lot to like about this attraction, but I’d like to challenge Disney to do better.
An estimated 111 million people across the United States watched at least part of last year's Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. It was the most-watched event in U.S. TV history.
For those of us seeking to engage the public in the work of building a clean-energy future, sporting events offer a unique opportunity to reach the public. This year, for example, C2ES has teamed up with Entergy Corporation and the New Orleans Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee to launch a fun, environment-themed website and contest for NFL fans.
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.
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.
As international climate summits go, Doha should be relatively straightforward. Essentially, parties need to wrap up some old business so they can start negotiating in earnest next year toward a 2015 agreement. So why is everything so gummed up?
Two reasons: Expectations die hard. And however modest the formal agenda might be, the rhetorical agenda knows no bounds.