Posts tagged ‘legislation’

Kerry’s green side takes center stage

John F. Kerry is known for his expertise on matters of war and foreign policy, and for his failed 2004 presidential bid.

But when he arrives in Copenhagen next month for international climate talks, the world will see a less familiar but perhaps more ardent side of the Massachusetts senator: the green Kerry.

After a quarter century in Washington, Kerry is emerging as a critical environmental dealmaker. He is leading the US Senate delegation that will try to broker a worldwide climate change agreement and is chief sponsor of a massive global warming bill in the Senate, a measure that was all but buried until Kerry forged an unlikely partnership with Republican Lindsey O. Graham of South Carolina last month.

Now, with virtually no chance of getting climate legislation through Congress before the end of the year, Kerry is still hoping to make enough progress toward a bipartisan deal to demonstrate to China, India, and other major greenhouse gas producers that the United States is serious about lowering emissions that are heating the Earth.

The challenge is enormous. Even if Kerry manages to find some consensus among Senate Democrats and Republicans in Washington before he goes, the task of setting binding emissions targets for industrialized and developing countries is unlikely to be achieved next month in Copenhagen. But the senator remains hopeful.

“What we have to do is listen to people, work with people, and fight very, very hard to get this job done,’’ Kerry said in a recent interview with the Globe. “It is not going to be easy, but every day we are moving the ball forward.’’

Though Kerry doesn’t have a strong track record as a conciliator in Congress, his biography can only help him, say his supporters. A bit of a wonk on climate science, he has been attending United Nations global warming summits since they began in Brazil in 1992. And he’s respected in diplomatic circles, as shown by his involvement in resolving the election crisis in Afghanistan last month.

“There is no one better positioned in the world than Senator Kerry’’ to get an international climate deal, said Robert Stavins, director of Harvard University’s Environmental Economics Program and an authority on international climate policy. “He has had an interest in these issues a long time. He is coauthor of the climate legislation. He is chair of the Foreign Relations Committee.’’

Full Story Here

November 13, 2009 at 2:12 PM Leave a comment

How will Clean Energy Legislation Affect Energy Prices?

As debate heats up around the proposals for clean energy legislation in Congress, one of the main points of contention is the amount of money it will cost. More specifically, everyone wants to know how the average American household will be impacted by the respective energy bills in the House (Waxman-Markey’s American Clean Energy and Security Act) and the Senate (Kerry-Boxer’s Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act).

This article will investigate the change in energy prices one can expect from legislation that could be passed within the coming months, and try to sift through the wide discrepancy in figures that are being tossed around. Then some recommendations will be presented as to how energy usage can be reduced, to preempt any anticipated rises in cost.

How much will it cost?
How much more money per year should a typical American household expect to pay if clean energy legislation were to pass? Depending on where one gets their information from, this figure varies hundreds of dollars!

Although it may be difficult to agree on how many more dollars Americans can expect to pay from clean energy legislation, nearly every study concurs on one fact — we can expect energy prices to increase in the future with the passage of a clean energy act.

Full Article HERE

November 13, 2009 at 2:03 PM Leave a comment

Legally binding treaty less likely since U.S. lags with its own legislation

Negotiators and diplomats were working Thursday on a scaled-back version of a global climate change treaty that could be agreed by next month’s deadline, without firm U.S. commitments.

The idea of forging a political agreement, instead of a legally binding treaty, was becoming a more accepted possibility as negotiators acknowledged some nations, including the United States, would not be ready in time for the December U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“People are more and more talking about a framework, a framework that you clarify further in the following months,” said Artur Runge-Metzger, chief delegate from the EU Commission.

European officials said they envisioned a political accord emerging from Copenhagen enshrining plans by developed countries to cut carbon emissions and by emerging economies to trim back the growth of their emissions. It also would include specific numbers on how much money wealthy countries would channel to the poor to combat the effects of climate change.

Such a political deal would not be legally binding, but would carry the authority of world leaders who would come to the Danish capital to sign off on it. Negotiations would continue for several months and possibly one year until a legally binding treaty was ready, the officials said on condition of anonymity, due to the sensitivity of the ongoing talks.

“We as the EU will certainly push and push and push to get a real legal outcome,” Runge-Metzger said, adding that the Copenhagen agreement should “definitely … have a timetable” for negotiating a full treaty.

Even an interim deal would clear the way to mobilize funds to help poor countries. The EU has said $7.4 billion to $10.4 billion will be needed over the next three years for developing nations to begin planning their first steps toward controlling their emissions and protecting themselves against the effects of climate change.

November 5, 2009 at 12:13 PM Leave a comment


University of San Francisco: unplugged

USFUNPLUGGED is brought to you by the Environmental Safety Community Outreach Liaison’s of USF. Here to educate, assist and encourage, we want you to get involved with the GREEN movement taking place on campus!

Unplugged Rewind