America's Role in the World: Promoting Environmental and Energy Sustainability

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 13 Feb 2008 19:00:00 GMT

CSIS is pleased to host Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey, for a discussion on the future of U.S. foreign assistance, energy and environmental sustainability. Frank A. Verrastro, Director and Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

The Smart Power Speaker Series features policymakers, practitioners and opinion leaders from around the world and across the political spectrum to engage in a discussion on U.S. Smart Power. The series is a spin-off of the CSIS Commission on Smart Power.

The Commission on Smart Power, chaired by Harvard’s Joseph Nye and former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage, issued a report on November 6, 2007 on how to revitalize America’s image and influence in the world. To read the report or obtain further information, go to www.csissmartpower.org.

Coffee, tea, and soda will be served.

1800 K Street, NW
CSIS B1 – Conference Center
Washington DC, 20006

Please RSVP by emailing Sierra Stanczyk at SStanczyk@csis.org or calling 202-887-0200 ext. 3946

Boucher Releases White Paper on Emissions from Developing Countries

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 05 Feb 2008 15:46:00 GMT

In the middle of September 2007, Rick Boucher (D-W.Va.), chair of the the the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee of John Dingell’s Energy and Commerce Committee, announced he would be releasing a series of white papers “over the next six weeks” on issues related to the development of climate change legislation.

October saw the first such paper, Scope of a Cap-and-Trade Program.

16 weeks later, he has released the second, Competitiveness Concerns/Engaging Developing Countries.

Since the U.S. cannot unilaterally bind other countries, our goal will be to craft legislation limiting U.S. carbon emissions that also induces developing countries to limit their emissions growth (1) on a timetable that meets both environmental and trade competitiveness concerns; (2) in a manner that is reasonably certain to withstand challenge before the World Trade Organization (WTO); and (3) on terms that pose acceptable risks to U.S. interests in the event of a negative WTO determination.

The white paper, which draws from a March 27 subcommittee hearing on international issues, discusses the IBEW/American Electric Power proposal of applying a “greenhouse gas intensity tariff” (which was included in Bingaman-Specter and Lieberman-Warner); the “carbon intensive” performance standard proposal; and the Environmental Defense “carrots and sticks” proposal for carbon market design.

The “questions for further discussion” are listed after the jump.

  1. Do any of the three alternatives discussed in this White Paper – border adjustments, performance standards, or carbon market design – offer clear cut advantages as a legislative policy in terms of encouraging developing countries to limit their GHG emissions and simultaneously protecting U.S. industry in global trade markets? Are there other approaches Congress should consider and, if so, what are their advantages and disadvantages?
  2. Are the various policies mutually exclusive, or can they be combined in some fashion to achieve the best balance between reducing global GHG emissions and protecting U.S. industry and jobs?
  3. In terms of timing, how closely should legislation link commencement of a U.S. domestic cap-and-trade regime with policies to induce developing countries to limit their GHG emissions?
  4. Should U.S. legislation distinguish between the “least developed” countries and other “developing” countries?
  5. Which approach is most likely to satisfy WTO requirements? Which approach is most likely to result in the promp resolution of any WTO challenge, and thereby provide most certainty with respect to both global environmental benefits and the long term impact on U.S. industry and jobs?
  6. How can climate legislation that includes both domestic and international components be drafted to align with any post-Kyoto Protocol accord the U.S. agrees to under the UNFCCC? How might U.S. adoption of climate change legislation affect the likelihood that such an agreement is concluded and influence the formulation of a U.S. international negotiating position?
The accompanying memo makes the following request:
Following a review of this paper, we strongly encourage interested parties to share with us their views and suggestions regarding the proper approach to encouraging the control of greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries.

Learning from a Laureate: Science, Security and Sustainability

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 30 Jan 2008 14:00:00 GMT

This Wednesday, Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will host Dr. Rajenda Pachauri, Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in his first appearance before Congress. Last year, under Dr. Pachauri’s leadership, the IPCC produced the seminal review of the science of global warming, its current and potential future impacts and the positive strategies available to help address this looming threat.

Dr. Pachauri will share his views on the urgency of addressing global warming and the issues Congress and other political leaders must consider when crafting climate legislation this year.

Witness
  • Dr. Rajenda Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

SOTU Excerpts on Energy Security and Climate Change

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 28 Jan 2008 21:42:00 GMT

Some pre-release excerpts from President Bush’s State of the Union speech, as prepared for delivery:
To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology. Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil.
Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride.

Translate as you will.

Are 1990 Levels by 2020 a Sufficient Cut?

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 25 Jan 2008 17:47:00 GMT

The Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill (S. 2191), which Sen. Boxer said may come to the floor before June, sets a cap of 15% below 2005 emissions levels by 2020 for covered sectors, reducing allowed emissions to the amount last seen in 1990.

Is that near-term target sufficient, in terms of the science?

As Holmes Hummel points out, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) paints a much different picture.

At Bali, all of the Annex I signatories to the Kyoto Protocol (every industrialized country other than the US and Turkey) agreed to this roadmap, which states in convoluted language that the Annex I countries “noted” that the AR4 indicates that global emissions “need to peak in the next 10-15 years” and be reduced “well below half of levels in 2000” by 2050 “in order to stabilize their concentrations in the atmosphere at the lowest levels assessed by the IPCC to date in its scenarios.” The countries also “recognized” that the AR4 indicates that to achieve those levels “would require Annex I Parties as a group to reduce emissions in a range of 25–40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.”

25-40% below 1990 levels is dramatically below the Lieberman-Warner target. From AR4, these “lowest levels” of concentrations are 350-400ppm CO2.

What’s the value of achieving concentrations “at the lowest levels”? The report says that using the “best estimate” for climate sensitivity (the temperature response to greenhouse gas concentrations), reaching a stable concentration of 350-400ppm CO2 leads to 2.0-2.4 degrees C warming above pre-industrial levels. But Hummel notes that the “best estimate” is just one for which half the estimates are higher and half are lower.

Thus:

To have a 50% chance of making the 2°C stabilization target, global emissions need to peak by 2015 and Annex I countries need to be 25-40% below 1990 by 2020.

As AAAS president John Holdren argued in his speech Meeting the Climate Challenge (at 38:29; see also the slide presentation):
The chance of a tipping point into truly catastrophic change grows rapidly for increases in the global average surface temperature more than about 2°C above the pre-industrial level, and again we’re already committed basically to one and a half. For a better than even chance of not exceeding 2°C above the pre-industrial level, CO2 emissions must peak globally no later than 2025 and they need to be falling steadily after that. That is a great task.
From the UN Scientific Expert Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, an international panel of 18 top scientists (including John Holdren):
In our judgment and that of a growing number of other analysts and groups, however, increases beyond 2°C to 2.5°C above the 1750 level will entail sharply rising risks of crossing a climate “tipping point” that could lead to intolerable impacts on human well-being, in spite of all feasible attempts at adaptation.

International Climate Change Negotiation: Bali and the Path Toward a Post-2012 Climate Treaty

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 24 Jan 2008 19:30:00 GMT

Sen. Menendez presiding.

Witnesses:

Panel 1
  • James L. Connaughton, Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality, Executive Office of the President
Panel 2
  • Jim Lyons, Vice President for Policy and Communication, Oxfam America
  • Elliot Diringer, Director of International Strategies, Pew Center on Global Climate Change
  • Glen Prickett, Senior Vice President, Business and U.S. Government Relations, Conservation International
  • John J. Castellani, President, Business Roundtable

Administration Perspectives on United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 17 Jan 2008 15:00:00 GMT

The House begins a new round of global warming hearings this year.

Witness
  • James Connaughton, chairman, White House Council on Environmental Quality

E&E Coverage:

CLIMATE: Key Republican deals blow to House Dems’ emissions plans (01/17/2008)

Darren Samuelsohn, Greenwire senior reporter

The top Republican on a key House subcommittee signaled today he won’t support a global warming bill that puts mandatory limits on heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

“While I feel strongly that addressing climate change is certainly important, I believe we must address this through a global, voluntary framework that focuses on innovations in technology rather than a pure government mandate,” said Michigan’s Fred Upton, the new ranking member of the House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee.

Upton replaced former House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois this year as the senior Republican on the panel that is tasked with writing climate legislation. During last year’s global warming debate, Hastert’s efforts and comments raised some Democrats’ hopes that he would support a bipartisan agreement on curbing U.S. emissions.

But Hastert resigned from Congress late last year, leaving an opening for Upton, an 11-term lawmaker from Michigan’s southwestern corner.

In his opening statement at the subcommittee’s first hearing this year, Upton poured cold water on the prospect that Democrats will get help from the top of the Republican roster.

“At the end of the day, we’ll need to demonstrate that the price paid in both jobs and dollars equates to some tangible environmental benefits to the American people,” Upton said. “In my view, spending trillions of dollars and losing a countless number of jobs, to maybe alter temperatures by a tenth of a degree, while China and India continue to spew emissions is not the option that we’re looking for.”

Democratic leaders of the House subcommittee and full committee did not outline a specific schedule for crafting a climate bill. But they did promise they would make an effort early this year to write and pass legislation establishing a cap-and-trade program that limits U.S. emissions.

In his own opening statement, House Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) affirmed his goal of getting GOP backing as he led the writing of a climate bill.

“This will require bipartisan cooperation, and I hope that my friends on the other side will come to the task with an open mind,” Dingell said.

While committee leaders are seeking bipartisanship agreement on the controversial bill, it wouldn’t necessarily be required to pass the measure out of the full Energy and Commerce panel where Democrats have a five-seat majority.

In an interview, Dingell said he didn’t want to comment on Upton’s remarks at the start of the hearing.

Upton wasn’t the only Republicans on the House panel who raised concerns about a cap-and-trade bill. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the full committee’s ranking member, questioned the underlying science linking humans’ emissions to climate change. CEQ chief testifies

Also during the hearing, Dingell nudged President Bush’s top environmental adviser, Jim Connaughton, who submitted a one-page opening statement for the hearing, plus a month-old slide show and past statements by President Bush.

Passing a climate bill “will require as well the active engagement of the administration, which remains to be seen,” Dingell said. “Judging from the rather thin testimony presented to the subcommittee by our witness today, however, I am less than optimistic.”

Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, told lawmakers his brief written remarks shouldn’t leave the impression the administration was making light of the climate issue.

He testified the U.N. agreement reached last month in Bali – which commits developed and developing nations to reaching a deal by 2009 that succeeds the Kyoto Protocol – is now Bush administration climate policy.

Climate Change: Science and Solutions

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 16 Jan 2008 13:00:00 GMT

The National Council for Science and the Environment invites you to participate in the 8th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment to develop and advance science-based solutions to climate change.

Join us in the dialogue with leading scientists, policy makers, industry leaders, educators, and other solutions-oriented innovators to develop comprehensive strategies for protecting people and the planet against the threat of climate change.

The three-day conference will be held January 16-18, 2008, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. An interactive agenda features skill-building workshops, targeted breakout sessions, plenary sessions, and symposia to provide participants with an expansive understanding of climate change solutions—and how we can achieve them.

Agenda

Wednesday January 16, 2008

8:00 am Registration

9:30 am – 12:00 pm Pre-conference Skill-building Workshops (registration required)

~ 20 Workshops led by partners grouped under the following themes:
  • Campus-based/ University Inititiatives
  • Government and Policy Solutions
  • Community Initiatives
  • Climate Change Education: Formal and Informal
  • Monitoring and Assessment Tools
  • Communicating Climate Change

12:00 pm Showcase of Solutions– Exhibition and Scientific Poster presentations open

1:00 pm Keynote Address: Climate Change: Science to Solutions – What do we know? How do we act in time and in appropriate scale?

2:00 pm Plenary Presentation: Summarizing Global Change Science and the Likely Implications of Global Climate Change.

Moderator and IPCC Overview: Mohan Munasinghe, Vice Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Chairman, Munasinghe Institute for Development (MIND)
  • The Atmosphere and the Cryosphere- Michael MacCracken, Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs, The Climate Institute
  • Biodiversity and Ecological Impacts – Tom Lovejoy, President, The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment
  • Human (Health and Well Being) Impacts- Sarah James, Alaskan Gwitch’in Steering Committee and Goldman Environmental prize-winner
  • National Security Impacts- Sherri Goodman, General Counsel, The CNA Corporation

3:30 pm Plenary Presentation: Tackling Global Change: Key Social and Ecological Issues for Mitigation and Adaptation

Moderator: Arden Bement, Director, National Science Foundation

  • Forest Management Response to Climate Change – Abigail Kimbell, Chief, US Forest Service
  • Oceans – Carbon Sink or Sinking Ecosystems – Margaret Leinen, Chief Scientific Officer, Climos
  • Ecosystem and Health Challenges – Mary C. Pearl, President, Wildlife Trust
  • People- The Solution- Thomas Dietz, Director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program, Michigan State University

4:30 pm Plenary Roundtable: Tackling Global Change: Key Energy and Technology Issues for Stabilization

Moderator: Mark Myers , Director, US Geological Survey
  • Global Energy and Technology Strategy- Jae Edmonds, Laboratory Fellow and Chief Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Healthy Solutions for a Low Carbon Economy- Paul Epstein, Associate Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School
  • Role of Technology in Mitigating Global Climate Change- Frank Princiotta, Director, Air Pollution Prevention and Control Division, US EPA ORD
  • A Post Bali Framework for Climate Technology Innovation- Lewis Milford, President, Clean Energy Group
  • Commentary on Energy and Technological Challenges- David Rodgers, Deputy Assistant Secretary, United States Department of Energy

5:30 – 6:30 pm Reception: Showcase of Solutions– Exhibition and Scientific Poster presentations

6:30 – 8:00 pm Perspectives of the Next Generation of Climate Change Leaders

Moderator: Philippe Cousteau, Co-Founder, EarthEcho

Opening remarks by Douglas Cohen, US Partnership, National Youth Initiatives and Session Co-Organizer

  • The Envirolution: Alex Gamboa, Timothy Polmateer, Antuan Cannon
  • Scott Beall, DoRight Enterprises
  • Jessy Tolkan, Energy Action Coalition

Thursday, January 17, 2008

8:00 am Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 am Keynote Address: Climate Change: Science to Solutions – The Case for Business Leadership

James E. Rogers, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Duke Energy Corporation

10:00 am Plenary Roundtable: Solutions: Engaging Communities Large and Small

Moderator: Peter Senge, Founding Chairperson, Society for Organizational Learning
  • Energizing the Faithful – Rev. Richard Cizek, Vice-President, National Association of Evangelicals
  • Engaging the Campuses – Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University
  • Engaging the Populace – Bill McKibben, Author, Scholar-in-residence in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College
  • Bringing Together Jobs, Justice, Environment and Community- Jerome Ringo, President, Apollo Alliance

11:00 am Plenary Roundtable: Solutions: Science and Policy on a Global Scale

Moderator and Opening Remarks: Global Leadership for Climate Action – Report from Bali – Mohamed El-Ashry, Senior Fellow, The UN Foundation and Former CEO and Chair, Global Environment Facility
  • Post-Kyoto International Agreements – Amb. Richard Benedick, President, National Council for Science and the Environment
  • IPCC: Future Role beyond the 4th Assessment- Stephen Schneider, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University
  • Global Energy Assessment- Bob Corell, Global Change Director, The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment
  • European or Chinese perspective TBD

1:30 – 5:00 pm Breakout Sessions: Developing a Blueprint for the Low Carbon Economy (concurrent)

~40 Sessions grouped under the following themes:
  • Strategies for Stabilization, Minimization, Mitigation and Adaptation
    • Stabilization/Mitigation
      • End-use Technologies
      • Economics and Policy
      • Population and Consumption
    • Adaptation
  • Guiding and Fostering Multi-disciplinary Research
  • Expanding Understanding: Information, Education and Communication
    • Communicating Science to Decisionmakers and the Public
    • Managing Global Change Science Information
    • Integrating Global Change into Education at All Levels and Across the Curriculum

5:30 pm Lifetime Achievement Award

6:00 pm 8th John H. Chafee Memorial Lecture on Science and the Environment

“Meeting the Climate-Change Challenge” given by

John P. Holdren, President and Director, The Woods Hole Research Center

7:00 pm Reception

Friday, January 18, 2008

8:00 am Continental Breakfast

8:45 am American Perspective on Climate Change – Jon Krosnick, Professor of Communication, Political Science, and Psychology, Stanford University

9:00 am Plenary Roundtable

Developing Political Solutions to Climate Change (discussion with political leaders from Administration, Congress, state, local and other national governments)

Moderator: Ray Suarez , Senior Correspondent, The News Hour

10:30 am Symposia – Concurrent

  • Beyond Kyoto – Elements of a 20202 International Agreement– Moderator: Mohamed El-Ashry, Senior Fellow, The UN Foundation and Former CEO and Chair, Global Environment Facility; Dilip Ahuja, National Institute of Advanced Studies; Scott Barrett, Professor and Director, International Policy Program, Johns Hopkins University
  • Climate Change and International Development – Moderator: Mohan Munasinghe, Vice Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Chairman, Munasinghe Institute for Development (MIND); Thomas Schelling, University of Maryland; Adrian Vazquez, Commission for Environmental Cooperation; Ralph Cicerone, President, National Academy of Sciences
  • Role of Philanthropic Foundations: Promoting Strategic Initiatives on Climate Change – Moderator: Sharon Alpert, Program Officer of the Environmental Program, Surdna Foundation ; Andrew Bowman, Director of the Climate Change Initiative, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Kathleen Welch, Deputy Director of the Environmental Program, the Pew Charitable Trusts; Eric Heitz, President, the Energy Foundation; Elizabeth Chadri, Program Officer for Conservation and Sustainable Development, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Business and Finance: Opportunities and Challenges from Climate Change – Moderator: Jeffrey Leonard , CEO, Global Environment Fund; Bruce Schlein, Vice President Environmental Affairs, Citi; Mindy Lubber, President, CERES; Bruce Mundiel, Swiss Re; Mark Tercek, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs’ Center for Environmental Markets
  • Forging Alliances Between Business and Society – US Climate Action Partnership; Tim Mealey, Senior Partner, Meridian Institute; DuPont; Exelon Corporation; Environmental Defense; The Nature Conservancy; Pew Center on Global Climate Change; Shell
  • Legislative Agenda for Addressing the Carbon Problem –L. Jeremy Richardson, 2007-2008 AAAS Roger Revelle Fellow in Global Stewardship; Margaret Turnbull , Space Telescope Science Institute; Ken Colburn, Center for Climate Strategies; Lexi Shultz, Representative for Climate Policy, the Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Engaging State and Local Government: Developing and Implementing Climate Action Plans- Dan Kammen, University of California- Berkeley
  • Climate Scientists and Decisionmakers: the Communication Interface – Moderator:Rebecca J. Romsdahl, Department of Earth Systems Science and Policy, University of North Dakota;Stacy Rosenberg, Assistant Professor, Department of Politics & Environmental Studies, SUNY Potsdam; Deborah Cowman, Assistant Research Scientist, Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy, Texas A&M University; Chris Pyke, Constructive Technologies Group, Inc.; Kit Batten, Director of Environmental Policy, Center for American Progress; David Bookbinder, Senior Attorney, Sierra Club; Roger Pulwarty, National Drought Information System, NOAA, Boulder, CO
  • Communicating Climate Science to the Public Through the Media – Moderator: Deborah Potter, NewsLab; David Malakoff, Editor/Correspondent, NPR Science Desk; Stephen Schneider, Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University; Joe Witte, Meteorologist, WJLA-TV; Doyle Rice, USA Today Weather Editor; Sara Espinoza, National Environmental Education Foundation
  • Science for Carbon Management – Eric Sundquist, Research Geologist, US Geological Society

12:30 pm Buffet Lunch (with youth mentoring tables)

2:00 pm Presidential Candidates Forum: What Will the Next President do to Manage Climate Change?

Each Candidate is invited to attend or send a representative. Opening statements and moderated discussion.

Moderator: Vijay Vaitheeswaran , Global Correspondent, The Economist, using information from the Presidential Climate Action Plan led by former Senator Gary Hart and from other sources

Taking Responsibility

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 28 Dec 2007 20:53:00 GMT

The National Environmental Trust released a report earlier this month in conjunction with the Bali Conference entitled Taking Responsibility: Why the United States Must Lead the World in Reducing Global Warming Pollution.

The report puts into graphic terms the U.S. share of global warming pollution: 42 states individually emit more C02 than 100 developing countries. Even Wyoming, the most sparsely populated state in the U.S., with only 510,000 people, emits more carbon dioxide than 69 developing countries that are home to 357 million. The report includes profiles for every state and the District of Columbia.

Energy Security, Energy Urgency: Key Issues Facing the Next President

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 18 Dec 2007 14:00:00 GMT

On December 18, the Brookings Institution will host Senator Richard G. Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, for a conversation on the lack of action on U.S. energy security and the challenges the next president will face on this issue. Indiana’s longest-serving senator, Lugar was first elected in 1976, and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading voices on foreign relations and national security.

U.S. dependence on increasingly scarce fossil fuels threatens U.S. security while also undermining international stability. Absent revolutionary changes in energy policy, U.S. foreign policy goals may be undermined, living standards may erode, and the U.S. may become highly vulnerable to the machinations of rogue states. These are the urgent security questions facing the next U.S. president.

In his address, Senator Lugar will discuss the need for leadership by the next president in combating energy threats to U.S. national security. Brookings Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Carlos Pascual will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion. After the program, Senator Lugar will take audience questions.

Participants

Introduction and Moderator
  • Carlos Pascual, Vice President and Director
Featured Speaker
  • Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.)

Location

Falk Auditorium The Brookings Institution 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Contact: Brookings Office of Communications

E-mail: events@brookings.edu

Phone: 202.797.6105

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