Bonn Climate Talks May Preview Obama’s Policies

by | Mar 27, 2009

bonn-germany2Expectations are running high for the world climate talks starting March 29 in Bonn, Germany. The talks, which run through April 8, are but the first stage in crafting a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

The event will mark the Obama Administration’s first big statement on how the United States may or may not bend to prevailing notions about global climate change.

The Obama Administration in April will host a meeting of major economies with climate change as the major topic. The meeting, April 27-28 in Washington, D.C., will “advance the exploration of concrete initiatives and joint ventures that increase the supply of clean energy while cutting greenhouse-gas emissions,” the White House said in a statement March 28.

It’s generally acknowledged that the key to climate talks is getting the United States and China, the world’s two largest carbon emitters, to agree to the framework.

Another key is determining the level of aid that developed nations will give poorer countries to help them limit emissions and cope with the effects of rising temperatures. Developed countries also are expected to dig in their heels on how quickly and how deeply they will cut emissions, according to a Wall Street Journal article.

In advance of the talks, negotiators are receiving a 16-page document, the “Ad Hoc Working Group On Further Commitments For Annex I Parties Under the Kyoto Protocol,” which itself is generating some controversy.

The document portends a new world economic order that, according to FoxNews, will mean “a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes – all under the supervision of the world body.”

British economist Nicholas Lord Stern, formerly a ranking British Treasury official, says that industrial economies need to cut per capita carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2050, and that the United States may face cuts of 90 percent. His arguments appear in his paper, “Key Elements of a Global Deal on Climate Change.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, a move that may help the Obama Administration achieve some climate change goals.

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