Carbonfund Tells US “Stay Away From Cancun”

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US Climate non-profit proposes that the climate talks at Cancun might achieve more without US participation. With no hope for any treaty ratification, (it takes 67 votes in the Senate) there is really no purpose in the US being there, and it drains resolve and negotiating time from serious negotiators.

“The US has been the 800-pound gorilla in the room at climate negotiations,” said Carbonfund President Eric Carlson. “As the largest global emitter per capita with enormous entourages at the meetings, all attention goes toward the US Put simply, the problem is that there are not 67 votes in the US Senate to ratify any climate deal the President might negotiate. It’s like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. The world needs to wise up and move the ball to a different field.”

He might have a point. After all, the Kyoto Accord has achieved significant carbon reductions in the nations that adopted it, regardless of the lack of US participation.

Taken as a whole, the US is a net drain on action, because of the Senate problem.

However, with the ongoing growth of regional carbon markets in the US and Canada, there is some hope of these connecting with the world carbon market. Taken together, US states with active climate programs are among the largest five economies of the world. Even without a Federal climate policy, two carbon markets WCI (Western Climate Initiative), and RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) could have quite an impact.

These state-level policies have the potential to make greenhouse gas reductions comparable to the best of European reductions, according to the Center for Climate Strategies – achieving 27% below 1990 levels by 2020.

California alone, which begins regulating carbon under AB32 by 2012 is the eighth-largest economy in the world. Read more…

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