Climate Change: Global Carbon Footprint
(c) M. Ryder
Officials from more than 190 countries have gathered in
1. Developed Nations Vs. Developing Nations
Pretty much all the countries attending the talks agree that greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to climate change. But few want to slash their emissions without first ensuring that competing countries will do the same. Developing countries want
2. Targets for Cutting Emissions
3. Assistance to Poor Countries
Many of the countries that will be hardest hit by climate change are poor. Some are island nations. Some are prone to drought. Others have big coastlines and are already seeing the impact of changing ocean chemistry and rising sea levels. To respond to climate change, they say, they'll need Western help. A lot of it. And that means money. But it's unclear right now just how much rich countries will be willing to give poor countries (especially when government treasuries aren't doing so well) in terms of cash and new technology.
4. Carbon Trading
There's a general agreement -- internationally, anyway -- that the best way to tackle emissions is by putting a price on carbon. That means a future involving a busy, lucrative global carbon market, in which people buy and sell permits to emit carbon. These global markets, not surprisingly, are complicated, and there are a lot of tough issues to be worked out when it comes to making sure that markets are honest and transparent. No one wants a repeat of the current financial crisis. But many countries also don't want an international regulatory body telling them how to run their economy.
5. Pollution Offsets
One way for countries to cut emissions is to switch to cleaner forms of energy or to make their power plants more energy efficient. But there are other options. For example, a power company, rather than trimming its own emissions on site, might find it cheaper to pay a forest owner to plant a bunch of carbon-trapping trees. In other words, the power company is "offsetting" its pollution by paying someone else. As part of the
A slew of hacked E-mail snippets are rolling around the Internet. Posted earlier this month, the E-mails were swiped from a server at the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and contain exchanges between several top climate scientists discussing, among other things, how to make their data appear more impressive for publication. Not surprisingly ...
On one side of the table were the Democrats. On the other side, where the Republicans normally would have been, there were only empty leather chairs. This was the strange scene in a hearing room on Capitol Hill, where Senate Democrats were trying to take the next step on their climate change bill by passing it through the Environment Committee.
Why Some People Go Green and Others Do not
Why do some people love the Toyota Prius, but others couldn't care less about driving a hybrid vehicle? Why do some of your friends spend hours trying to reduce their carbon footprint, while others wonder what's the point of even recycling?
Despite pessimistic signs on Capitol Hill and internationally regarding action by the United States on climate change initiatives, the head of the World Wildlife Fund today predicted that the December climate summit in Copenhagen will draw up a framework for action that will prompt Congress to move on the critical issue
Top 5 Issues at the Copenhagen Climate Conference | Kent Garber
(c) 2009 U.S. News & World Report