Post-Copenhagen Positives

Writing in Foreign Policy David Roberts of Grist takes what turns out to be a refreshing view of the post-Copenhagen landscape. In particular, he quotes Terry Tamminen of California fame:

“Everyone is waiting for a U.N. deal, but carbon-cutting actions have been going on all along,” says Tamminen. “It’s been right under everyone’s nose. The Copenhagen Accord, having surfaced an existing web of national and subnational policies, may ultimately prompt a needed shift of attention and pressure to what is happening on the ground and what is required to link up and accelerate the many promising efforts already underway.”

Roberts also observes that China might be taking an ‘under promise-over deliver approach’, with numerical targets that add up to business as usual or worse but with a plethora of measures and policies that may, if implemented, take it further. There are many ad-hoc stories about China’s technology revolution, but for comprehensive ongoing analysis, try Julian Wong’s blog Green Leap Forward.

Does this contradict our post of yesterday? The Accord itself is unlikely to prove significant as an instrument or as an agreement and will probably disintegrate as a process. But Tamminen may be correct; some of the policies countries are actually pursuing have come to the fore and countries have sidestepped further emissions targets invective.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Post-Copenhagen Positives

  1. Jörg Haas

    “Everyone is waiting for a U.N. deal, but carbon-cutting actions have been going on all along,”….
    The problem is that emissions have been growing all along as well …

    • andrewpendleton

      Hi Joerg

      Sure, but that’s not what Tamminen is saying. The point is that existing initiatives are insufficient, but that the negotiations have obscured their existence and created the myth that regulation should be international in the first instance, when in fact national and local measures will be required with or without an international treaty. And since we’re not even close to a treaty, then a focus on expanding what’s already happening is next best.

      Andrew.

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