In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, Yvo de Boer, the man who led the UN into the Copenhagen climate talks and is now an advisor to KPMG, answers your questions.
On the final day of the Cancun climate talks, Yvo discusses the progress made towards a comprehensive global climate treaty, the (lack of) future for a global carbon tax, and how crucial emissions trading schemes are.
Next in the hotseat is Peter Voser, the chief executive of Shell, who will be answering your questions on this site next Friday, December 17th. Send in your questions for consideration by the end of today – Friday, December 10th – to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But for now, over to Yvo:
I blogged last week about two high profile Congress races where voters seemed to have been turned off by the fact that the Democratic incumbent had voted for the cap-and-trade bill. Both Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello seemed to have been directly hurt by their vote for Waxman-Markey.
Sure enough, both were voted out on Tuesday night. And here is a full list, courtesy of Politico, of the other defeated Dems who voted for cap-and-trade:
When President Obama spoke about his new-found spirit of compromise after the Democratic party’s “shellacking” in the midterm elections, energy policy was one of the areas where he suggested Democrats and Republicans might be able to work together. The deep partisan divide over climate policy might make that seem a ridiculously hopeful aspiration, but in fact there are some areas of energy policy where the two parties ought to be able to find common ground.
Translating that into effective legislation, however, will be something else again.
It seems like Rick Boucher is not the only one being forced to fight for his political life over the cap-and-trade bill. Tom Perriello, another Virginia Democrat, is also coming under fire for his support of the bill.
As the LA Times reports today, the bill is becoming a major flashpoint in large swaths of the US, especially the mid-Atlantic and Midwest.
The paper reports:
In much of the nation, “cap and trade” has become a dirty phrase this election season, and the political storm over global warming’s causes and solutions may determine several key races.
For the first time in nearly a decade, not one Republican running for the Senate supports proposals to limit carbon emissions and trade pollution rights. Most openly question the science of global warming or denounce it as a hoax.
But Perriello knew all along this could risk his career. As he told Politico last year:
There’s got to be something more important than getting reelected. If I lose my seat, and that’s the worst that happens, I could live with that.
With just a week to go until the US midterms, the narrative seems to have been set: the Republicans are going to do well because of anger at the Obama administration towards two things in particular: a lack of jobs and the healthcare bill.
But there may be another element at play which is feeding into this heady mix: the cap-and-trade bill.
Yesterday, the Journal published an interesting article about the way in which Democratic Congressman Rick Boucher’s support for the bill is losing him votes in his native Virginia. Apparently locals are angry that Boucher voted for a bill that they regard as anti-coal.
By Jane Rickards in Taipei
Taiwan’s Premier Wu Den-yih this week urged the island’s Environmental Protection Agency to draw up plans for a cap-and-trade system. At a time when the US and Australia have all but abandoned the idea, Taiwan’s preparations for a green house gas emissions trading system could eventually resemble the one used by the European Union.
But two big obstacles stand in the way of making the system work: local businesses, and Beijing.
Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou has pledged to reduce Taiwan’s emissions levels to that of 2000 by 2025. Yet, while he is determined to introduce such a system and law makers from his ruling Kuomintang have a clear parliamentary majority, he may find it tough convincing local industries, which believe the move threatens their competitiveness, especially with respect to their rivals in neighbouring Asian nations.