Domestically and internationally, climate action in 2009 laid critical groundwork for potential breakthroughs in Congress and global negotiations in 2010. Yet with an issue as complex and political as climate change, turning groundwork into policy is a challenge. 2010 will undoubtedly be a pivotal year for climate change – but first it is instructive to take a look back  at what happened in 2009 and how that shaped where we are today.
We captured these highlights in our annual Year-in-Review Newsletter  – a useful compilation of 2009’s big climate change stories and related insights. The year’s major domestic action included passage of the landmark House  climate and clean energy bill along with numerous Obama administration  efforts to improve our climate and economy. These accomplishments included the stimulus  bill’s $80 billion in clean energy-related funding and EPA actions, including the endangerment finding , the greenhouse gas reporting rule , and stricter auto-efficiency standards .
Copenhagen consumed international climate attention in 2009, culminating in the pre-dawn hours of December 19 when final touches were put on an accord directly brokered by President Obama and a handful of key developing country leaders. While many questions remain after Copenhagen, our summary of the conference  provides a sound starting point for grasping what transpired at the year’s largest climate event.
The lead-up to 2009’s main events required a great deal of work, and some of the year’s highlights include the detailed Blueprint for Climate Action  released one year ago this month by the influential business-NGO coalition U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP). More industry leaders also showed support for mandatory climate action by joining our Business Environmental Leadership Council  (BELC). And efforts to reach business communities, employees, and families expanded through the Make An Impact  program. In partnerships with aluminum manufacturer Alcoa  and utility Entergy , we continue to provide individuals with strategies to save energy and money while protecting the environment.
We continued to educate policy makers and opinion leaders, producing reports , analyses, and fact sheets on topics ranging from clean-energy technologies , climate science , competitiveness , and adaptation . Featuring expert insights and thoughtful opinions, we informed broad audiences about the immediate need for climate action. And our timely, relevant work moves forward in 2010 as we seek progress in addressing the most important global issue of our time.
Tom Steinfeldt is Communications Manager