Monthly Archives: December 2010

All politics is local…

Last Sunday, Joss Garman of Greenpeace UK offered a gripping analysis of the shifting geopolitics behind the positions of the US, India and what he describes as a “relaxed and confident” China at the recent UNFCCC Ministerial.  As we have argued recently, hyping the  outcome of Cancun is not a good idea, but it is certainly true that the emerging powers came to Mexico in a constructive mood.  Joss argues that: Continue reading

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Getting real about energy

A thought-provoking piece from Michael Shellenberger at the Breakthough Institute in the US landed in my inbox this morning, which I thought was worth reproducing in full here, not least because it expresses very well some of the dilemmas that the UK faces as it struggles to catch up with the rest of Europe in investments in renewable energy:

“For forty years, presidents and policymakers have promised and planned for a new energy future just over the horizon. Continue reading

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What’s the deal with Cancún?

After Copenhagen, getting the COP to agree on almost anything would have seemed an achievement, so it’s worth taking the outcome of COP 16 in Cancún – reported by many as a ‘deal’ – with a pinch of salt. Of course, not having more than 100 world leaders present probably helped by taking the weight off the UN’s shoulders. But without heads of government, political commitment to the process and its Mexican outcomes cannot be assumed.

Sleep Deprivation is probably playing a part in the somewhat dizzy response that’s emerging from Mexico. The Guardian’s ‘The Deal LIVE‘ is a good example. A more sober assessment of the implications comes from Fred Pearce on the News Scientist’s website. Continue reading

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After Cancun: Where next for climate politics

By Nick Pearce, Director of ippr.

Expectations are low for Cancun. As Tim Wirth and John Podesta at the Center for American Progress – one of ippr’s partners in the Global Climate Networkput it, negotiators may ‘start to pivot toward a new strategy of gradualism’. On the Cancun agenda is how countries can be transparent in achieving emissions reductions, the introduction of credits for preserving forests into carbon markets, and the transfer of finance from rich to poor countries to help cover climate costs. Off the agenda is a comprehensive, legally binding climate treaty of the kind that was so spectacularly not agreed in Copenhagen this time last year.

The juxtaposition of the climate talks and the icy weather across most of northern Europe is important because, while the relationship between climate and weather is dynamic rather than direct, cold winters and failing global negotiations are both likely to weaken public support for action on climate change. Continue reading

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