Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WRI: What are the environmental trends set to be seen in 2008?

On December 18th Jonathan Lash of the World Resources Institute spkoke about environmental trends to be observed during 2008.

Amongst the positive pieces of news from 2007 that where expected to continue in 2008 was the emergence of large business collaborations pushing for rapid action and and the oporational certainty that this provides.

"At past meetings, the role of the private sector would have been
largely to explain to negotiators how difficult it would be to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions. At this meeting, this group which we’re part of and helped to
organize, the United States Climate Action Partnership, staged an event calling
on the negotiators to move as quickly as possible in noting that in the United
States, we have asked Congress to impose mandatory economy-wide cap-and-trade

A similar group from Europe was also present there, also asking the
negotiators to move as quickly as possible saying that certainty and
predictability and rapid action to create a level playing field is far more
important to them than the potential cost of having to act on climate. That was
a very new development in these negotiations and will only grow stronger in the
coming year."

Progress in the US is also encouraging with no less than three subnational emissions trading schemes!

These schemes already cover over half of the US population and are a significant factor in determining the common corporate stance in favour of a single nationsl emissions trading scheme; this is becoming overly complex.

Several other states are also planning to join such schemes. However, pressure for federal action is mounting and the only real questions is weather this will happen before or after the current administration leaves office.

There is certainly no shortage of proposals for emissions reductions bills! This graph shows the reductions targeted by a variety of currently active bills in the 110th congress.

Would Bush veto any bill to be presented to him? It would been in line with his position so far to do so, however in an election year when questions of legacy abound, and at a time when drought is likely to be a significant issue in part of the US there may be an opportunity for a much neaded breakthrough without delay.



Climate Change Action

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