Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Todd Stern: Special Envoy For Climate Change

Todd Stern was appointed by President Barack Obama in January to be the top U.S. negotiator of international climate-change agreements. He is urging Congress to pass legislation curbing greenhouse-gas emissions in advance of the Copenhagen, Denmark international summit in December. As President Barack Obama's special envoy for climate change he will have the lead in assessing whether the USA should sign onto a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. That treat committed many industrialized nations to cutting their emissions. The USA is not a signatory to the treaty. Neither is China or India (formally).

A road map agreed to by industrialized countries at a 2007 summit in Bali, Indonesia, suggests that industrialized countries to reduce their emissions by between 25% and 40% by 2020. Mr. Stern does not believe the USA can meet those aggressive targets. President Obama's goal is to return U.S. emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020 and his budget proposal calls for reducing U.S. emissions roughly 80% below 2005 levels by 2050.

Stern is a graduate of Dartmouth College (1973) and has a J.D. from Harvard Law School. (WSJ, 3/4/09)

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