Friday, January 08, 2010

Post Hopenhagen...

There's lots of continued fall-out, analysis, despair, and renewed hope and energy in the aftermath of the Copenhagen negotiations in December. I won't spend too much time diving too deep into my own thoughts and analysis but suffice it to say, it fell far short of what we need, but had some very hopeful silver linings, most importantly so many heads-of-state getting in the same room and getting more serious about this - particularly those from the US and China.

On that note, check out a must read from Guardian reporter, Mark Lynas, who was in the room and in this article exposes the barriers the Chinese delegation presented in making sure no real targets came out of Copenhagen. In my view this a pretty solid case for imposing a carbon tariff on Chinese imports, which is not normally the kind of isolationist approach I'm a fan of, but would have some ancillary benefits of protecting American jobs and addressing some of the "we-can't-price-carbon-cause-it'll-make-us-less-competitive" arguments.

Also, get involved with the latest 1Sky campaign: The just-passed international climate talks in Copenhagen show the critical need for the U.S. to take bold action on climate and energy in the New Year. Next Tuesday, January 12 people all across the country will flood Senate offices with phone calls to urge support for strong climate and clean energy legislation in 2010. Sign up at to join this effort and make your voice heard!

Finally, in our work at Second Nature, many people have been saying how Copenhagen's results have prompted them to refocus on the local efforts, and set precedent for real action that will make the federal/international agreements easier to make. The signatories of the ACUPCC (American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment) have been doing so for 3 years now, and making great strides - about 500 have completed and publicly reported their GHG Inventories, and over 130 have submitted plans for pursuing climate neutrality in operations and incorporating climate and sustainability into the educational experience. These are all available at - see if you're school has signed and if they're up-to-date on their progress. For a great breakdown of what happened in Copenhagen, how colleges were involved, and what it means in the context of the ACUPCC, check out this article from Sarah Brylinsky at Dickinson College.

Stay going.

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