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Dickinson to Durban » Entries tagged with "U.S. Climate Policy"

Getting Desperate in Durban

By Dani Thompson Yesterday, the doors of most UNFCCC plenary sessions became closed for civilians and observers. The negotiations are taking a more serious turn, and the U.S. is taking a verbal beating by the folks of the Climate Action Network (CAN). At the CAN daily briefing on Monday, we heard over and over again that many nations are fed up with the U.S. and their constant blocking of  international agreements for a potential second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. It seems the time has come for the countries ready and willing to agree to a legally binding agreement  to move forward on their own. “If [the US] cannot get your team on the ground, move aside and let the rest of the world move forward with an agreement.” These and other strong words came from Kumi Naidoo (second from left), a representative … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change, Key COP17 Issues

Climate Policy for Dummies

By Dani Thompson ’12 climate change lingo The “Lingo” All definitions below are based on usage in terms of U.S. climate change policy… Market-based approach: A way to control and/or regulate carbon emissions via the economic system. This approach is used in contrast to traditional regulations such as those imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Cap-and-trade: A market-based approach to lower CO2 emissions by distributing carbon “pollution permits”. These permits can be bought, traded, and sold among all parties involved. The number of permits available will be limited so that a “cap” of total carbon emissions will be established. This cap can be lowered to further minimize emissions in the future. In this approach amount of emissions is certain, but cost of permits is not. (Keohane) Safety valve: An optional addition to the cap-and-trade approach which would … Read entire article »

Filed under: Summer Reading Responses

Key Players in U.S. Climate Policy

The companies listed above are those establishments chosen by Resources for the Future (RFF) research on an executive summary and overview of potential U.S. climate change policy implementations.  The opinions of these companies, along with RFF researchers, provide a wide range of inputs and estimations for appropriate climate legislation in the United Sates.  The array of representatives ranges from oil and gas companies to agricultural and chemical producers.  It is important for these companies to have a say in legislation because it is likely that they will be most affected by changes in policy.  Possible implementations for greenhouse gas emission reductions are market-based approaches, like a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax.  Such policies enforce greenhouse gas emission reductions on those companies most responsible for emitting in the first place.   Thus, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Summer Reading Responses

U.S. Climate Policy-What Does it Take?

The United States is an incredibly difficult place when it comes to climate policy. Maybe it’s the divide down party lines over environmental topics, the lack of desire to change our habits or even just the nature of a democratic nation; regardless we Americans aren’t able to decide on how to deal with climate change. Part of the problem stems from the control industries have over decision making. The industries in the U.S. and across the globe hold huge amounts of money and thus hold huge amounts of power. In earlier posts the book Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway proved this point, showing how the tobacco industry blatantly lied and twisted information to confuse the public about the health effects of smoking. After reading Merchants of Doubt, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change