Carbonfund has put it bluntly, telling the U.S. that its presence in Cancun is more of a problem than a help at this point. With Congress essentially in gridlock and unable to do anything meaningful with regards to climate change, the U.S. really isn’t of much use in Cancun, the organization argues.
“The US has been the 800-pound gorilla in the room at climate negotiations,” said Carbonfund President Eric Carlson. “As the largest global emitter per capita with enormous entourages at the meetings, all attention goes toward the US Put simply, the problem is that there are not 67 votes in the US Senate to ratify any climate deal the President might negotiate. It’s like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. The world needs to wise up and move the ball to a different field.”
With a dysfunctional Senate and the last political party in the world to reject clear climate science taking more seats in Congress, the U.S. is more or less a lost cause at the present moment when it comes to international climate negotiations.
One Reason Why the U.S. Should Still Participate
There is one reason why key U.S. leaders need to be in Cancun, however, Susan Kraemer of Cleantechnica notes: smaller government bodies in the U.S. (i.e. states and regions) that can and are acting on climate change have a lot of influence themselves and can help the world make more climate progress.
However, with the ongoing growth of regional carbon markets in the US and Canada, there is some hope of these connecting with the world carbon market. Taken together, US states with active climate programs are among the largest five economies of the world. Even without a Federal climate policy, two carbon markets WCI (Western Climate Initiative), and RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) could have quite an impact.
These state-level policies have the potential to make greenhouse gas reductions comparable to the best of European reductions, according to the Center for Climate Strategies – achieving 27% below 1990 levels by 2020.
Perhaps it is time for these more proactive regions to get involved in international negotiations more and become partners in international carbon markets.
Read more about these topics and ideas on Cleantechnica: Carbonfund Tells US “Stay Away From Cancun”
Photo Credit: qthomasbower via flickr (CC license)