The messages coming out of Copenhagen are loud and clear. On the one hand, scientists from almost all governments tell us society has to conduct an orderly retreat from fossil fuels or face unacceptable climate risk. On the other hand, the numerous representatives of modern renewable-energy industries here for the summit tell us that their technologies - when hooked up with efficient energy use - can build a world where we would no longer need to use fossil fuels.
Ashley Braun said: "Stalling" is in the eye of the beholder
Ashley Braun said: Gullible nations say 'what!'
After Canada took a public relations beating all week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided to keep a low profile on his first day at the Copenhagen climate summit. Leaders such as Britain's Gordon Brown, France's Nicolas Sarkozy, and Germany's Angela Merkel addressed the plenary sessions of the summit in the cavernous Bella Centre, and held informal press scrums as they dashed to meetings with other leaders. In contrast, Mr. Harper huddled with officials for briefings away from the centre, did not speak publicly, and did not meet with other leaders until the gala dinner hosted by Denmark's Queen and Prince Consort. It fell to Environment Minister Jim Prentice to deliver Canada's official statement to the plenary sessions, a brief appearance that was scheduled for late in the evening here, just prior to a scheduled address by U.S. special envoy, Todd Stern.
Ashley Braun said: Mental math: That is more than the current 2 degree pledge
The Senate has a message for international leaders who want the United States to give developing nations tens of billions of dollars to help with global warming. Forget about it. "They've got to come up with their own," said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). "We're not asking them for money, as far as I know." The U.S. negotiating team in Copenhagen has been working overtime to reach a climate change agreement. But back home in Congress, many lawmakers are happy to play the Grinch.
Global-warming legislation doesn't have a chance in the Senate unless President Obama comes home with believable commitments from China, India and others. Extracting them might mean an agreement in Copenhagen that includes some concrete progress on issues such as deforestation, short-term aid and emissions reduction promises, along with a lot of bracketed, provisional text to be debated in future meetings. That would be a better outcome than agreeing to a system that fails to hold countries accountable, and therefore cannot be sustained over time.
With time running out on the stalled Copenhagen climate negotiations, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gave new hope that an agreement might still be reached when she announced on Thursday that the United States would participate in a $100-billion-a-year fund to help poor nations combat climate change through the end of the next decade.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today in Copenhagen that the U.S. would help raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help finance the fight against climate change in poor countries.