U.S. Climate Envoy Todd Stern, briefing reporters yesterday in New York City after meetings with representatives from the world’s major economies, said he doesn’t expect a United Nations meeting scheduled for later this year to produce a binding climate treaty.
Stern said yesterday’s meeting was “productive,” but added that “no one is expecting or anticipating in any way a legal treaty to be done” at the November U.N. meeting in Cancun, according to the Associated Press.
The United Nations climate process has been marked by anticipation and disappointment. Last year’s much-ballyhooed negotiations in Copenhagen failed to produce a binding climate treaty. And the clock is ticking. The landmark Kyoto Protocol, which the United States did not sign, expires in 2012. The current negotiations are meant to lay the groundwork for a successor to the protocol, but right now it seems unclear exactly when such an agreement can be signed.
Why is all of this so important? In short, scientists say it’s essential for all major industrial nations to commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, it doesn’t do anybody any good if some countries reduce their emissions and others continue to pump large amounts of carbon dioxide into the air. Emissions don’t stop at a country’s borders.
There’s quite a bit of tension on this issue between various industrialized and non-industrialized nations. The key to coming to an agreement is developing rules that non-industrialized countries and major emitters can agree to. That has proven tricky so far.
The reason? It costs a ton of money to significantly reduce emissions; you’ve got to retrofit fossil fuel power plants, build new infrastructure and develop clean energy technology. The poorer countries argue that richer nation’s should take the lead on all that because they can afford it. The richer countries note however, that every country needs to commit to some level of emissions cut.
Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response
Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen
Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)
One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh
Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!
The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the
Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs
Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability
Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment
In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep
Rep. Pete Hoekstra Bashes Global Currency
I was just talking to Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who’s leaving Congress to run for governor of Michigan, about his proposed Parental Rights Amendment—a
Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store
Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public
Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’
Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday
Rep. Pete Hoekstra Surging in Michigan Gubernatorial Bid
The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee -- you couldn’t flip on a TV without seeing him in the aftermath of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s botched
School of Hock
A growing number of college grads are defaulting on their student loans as the economy worsens.