Saturday, December 13, 2008

Modest Results From Poznan, Poland Climate Conference

Clearly it is going to be difficult to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol climate change treaty. Topping the difficulty will be convincing America, China and India to cap carbon dioxide emissions. The mandatory caps in the Kyoto Protocol will not be met by any of the signatories and that is a major weakness for formulating Kyoto II (KP II). Although the 4,000 delegates, 5,500 observers, activists and journalists considered general and specific technical issues, the 2008 Poznan, Poland meeting did not come close to practical solutions to the climate change issue. That challenge is waiting for the delegates, observers, activists and journalists in the December 2009 Copenhagen, Denmark meeting. We will be there.

Will the USA under the Obama administration regulate carbon dioxide? Will the April 2007 Supreme Court decision that EPA can consider CO2 as a criteria pollutant, actually lead to regulations by EPA? Can EPA practically regulate CO2? If so, how will it do it? Will Congress have to pass legislation to genuinely formulate a workable climate change mitigation strategy for the USA? Of course we will? Will the U.S. Senate ratify an international climate change treaty similar to the Kyoto Protocol? We doubt it. The Senate voted 95-0 against even considering such a treaty in 1997. Of course, the Obama administration has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020.

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