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Loesungsansaetze - USA

Page history last edited by Maiken Winter 12 years, 6 months ago


Die erfolgsversprechendste Loesung fuer eine bessere Klimapolitik in den USA sind Neuwahlen.  In der Sueddeutschen wird der Wahlkampf verfolgt.


Policies promoting energy efficiency, State of New Mexico.


U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP).

The "United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) is a group of businesses and leading environmental organizations that have come together to call on the federal government to quickly enact strong national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. USCAP has issued a landmark set of principles and recommendations to underscore the urgent need for a policy framework on climate change."


California signs climate change legislature.


US-Amerikanische Förderprogramme: Verschiedene Wege zum Solar-Staat:


Ein Ueberblick ueber die Loesungsansaetzte verschiedener Praesidentschaftskandidaten:


Earthjustice is a "non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. We bring about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations and communities."


Forum of presidential candidates planned for early December 2007.

McCain touts green credentials

He says that both parties fall short on climate change

By Peter Hecht - Friday, November 16, 2007

Republican presidential hopeful John McCain said Thursday that White House candidates from both major parties are coming up short when it comes to having a serious discussion on how to fight global warming.

But on a fundraising swing in Sacramento, the Arizona senator had particular praise for California – and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – for tackling the issue and offering solutions.

McCain also announced that he had accepted an invitation from Schwarzenegger to attend a climate change forum that is being considered for early December.

Schwarzenegger's communications director, Adam Mendelsohn, confirmed that the governor has had discussions with former Vice President Al Gore on a plan to invite presidential candidates from both parties to attend a forum in the early primary state of New Hampshire on both energy policy and climate change.

But Mendelsohn said the proposed gathering is still in the planning stages and "the details are still being discussed."

McCain, who held a fundraiser Thursday at the Sheraton Grand in downtown Sacramento, said he has already told Schwarzenegger to count him in.

"I did receive a request from him personally to take part in a forum in early December on the issue of climate change," McCain said. "I think it is an important issue. I don't think it's been discussed enough in the presidential debates on either side."

Of all the Republican presidential candidates, only McCain to date has called for capping pollution emissions blamed for global warming. He has also called for higher fuel economy standards.

While many conservative activists have been dismissive of global warming fears, the issue – trumpeted by leading Democratic candidates – is getting varied levels of attention among Republicans.

While making no reference to global warming, GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani in July made a speech in San Francisco calling for an aggressive push to diversify America's energy to dry up cash sources for terrorists. He called for new investments and tax subsidies to promote cleaner energy technologies and alternatives to oil, including ethanol, solar and wind power.

Meanwhile, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has backed clean coal, biodiesel, ethanol and nuclear technologies.

Schwarzenegger signed California's landmark global warming law to reduce greenhouse gases by 25 percent by 2020. On Thursday, McCain praised his efforts.

"I am very grateful for his leadership on this issue and frankly I'm very grateful for the leadership of the state of California on this issue in the many efforts they are making to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," McCain said.

Mendelsohn said Schwarzenegger, who hasn't endorsed anyone in the White House race, "has been interested in having a discussion with presidential candidates about the nation's energy policy, not only about climate change."

He said Schwarzenegger was working to recruit Republican candidates for such a forum while Gore was speaking to Democratic candidates.

"People assume that climate change is only a Democratic issue. Climate change is an issue that Republicans should address as well," Mendelsohn said. "That's always been Governor Schwarzenegger's point: This is not a partisan problem."

To date, McCain is the only GOP presidential candidate to call for higher fuel economy standards

and for capping emissions blamed for global warming – stands in synch with many Californians.

During a fundraiser at Sacramento's Sheraton Grand, Republican presidential candidate John McCain

praised Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's strong stand on global warming. The Arizona senator also

said Schwarzenegger had asked him to participate in a bipartisan climate change forum planned for

early December.

Grist Sponsors Presidential Forum


Watch presidential candidates discuss climate and energy

On Saturday, Nov. 17, Grist will be sponsoring the first-ever presidential candidate forum focusing on the issues of energy policy and climate change. All Democratic and Republican presidential candidates were invited to attend; Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Dennis Kucinich have accepted the invitation.

We'll show a live webcast here starting at 2:00 p.m. PST on Nov. 17:



For more information on the presidential candidates and their stances on climate and energy issues, check out Grist's special election coverage:

Joe Biden Interview Fact Sheet
Hillary Clinton Interview Fact Sheet
Chris Dodd Interview Fact Sheet
John Edwards Interview Fact Sheet
Mike Gravel Interview Fact Sheet
Dennis Kucinich Interview Fact Sheet
Barack Obama Interview Fact Sheet
Bill Richardson Interview Fact Sheet
Rudy Giuliani   Fact Sheet
Mike Huckabee Interview Fact Sheet
John McCain Interview Fact Sheet
Ron Paul Interview Fact Sheet
Mitt Romney   Fact Sheet
Tom Tancredo Interview Fact Sheet



See transcript of forum here.


15. November 2007


Published online 14 November 2007 | Nature 450, 340-341 (2007) | doi:10.1038/450340a

Climate politics: Beyond Bush

The next US president could lead the country into meaningful action on controlling greenhousegas emissions, but only if he, or she, can seize the moment. Jeff Tollefson reports.


It is 20 January 2009, and the new US president has just been sworn into the Oval Office. Environmentalists are optimistic. Scientists, activists and politicians around the globe have their fingers crossed. For the first time in eight years, the United States is led by a politician who advocates quick and forceful action on global warming.


The question on everybody's mind is what comes next. It doesn't take much to prepare a policy paper and offer campaign sound bites about the dangers of global warming. It's also easy to grandstand one's green credentials once in office — perhaps by requiring Cabinet members to offset their carbon footprints or by departing the inauguration in a hybrid vehicle (although the armour-plating might well hamper its gas mileage). But it is a lot harder to bind the world's leading economy to a meaningful regulatory regime for greenhouse-gas emissions.

“We are talking about the largest environmental policy we have ever implemented.”


“We are talking about the largest environmental policy we have ever implemented, in terms of economic costs and economic benefits,” says Joe Aldy, a fellow at Resources for the Future, a non-partisan think-tank in Washington DC. “When you talk about policies of that stature, you have to have executive leadership.”


So what can the new president actually accomplish in those first days? The most immediate changes could be seen in the federal budget — in which billions of dollars are in play in research money for energy and global warming — or in new regulations controlling energy efficiency or carbon-dioxide emissions. Over the course of a presidency, though, the measure of true action would come in shepherding climate legislation through the halls of Congress, while leading the world in developing a successor to the Kyoto Protocol to control greenhouse gases.


On the domestic front, the Supreme Court set the stage for at least some new regulations in April, when it ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide from vehicles (see _Nature_ 446, 589; 2007). Regulating the gas would represent an old-school approach to environmental issues that forces every business to meet the same standards. This system has fallen out of favour with the advent of cap-and-trade systems in which businesses barter among themselves for the cheapest way to meet an overall mandate, but a president could use the threat of regulation to force action on meaningful cap-and-trade legislation in Congress. “It's really important to recognize,” says Aldy, “that the alternative to a new climate bill coming out of Congress is not no carbon regulation, which is the status quo, but very costly carbon regulation.”


A new president could even interpret the Supreme Court ruling to include carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. “If you had decent regulatory standards for vehicles, fuels and power plants, you will have dealt with 60% of US emissions,” says David Doniger, climate-policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group based in New York.

Capitol support


The next administration is likely to face a Congress in which both houses support some sort of action on global warming. Several major emissions-reduction bills have already been introduced (see pages 333 and 342), but most experts expect the debate to extend well into the next administration. And while congressional leaders set the legislative agenda, the president can set the tone on whether the executive branch will back up any particular action. The White House can, for instance, tap a team of experts to meet with industry and activist groups, shuffle proposals to and from Capitol Hill, and otherwise ensure that the issue receives the sustained attention necessary to iron out an agreement.


When a president is willing, practical politics can sometimes follow swiftly. On coming into office in 1989, for example, President George H. W. Bush made action on acid rain a priority. Top presidential advisers on domestic policy, the environment and economics began working on the issue, says Jeff Holmstead, who joined the team in 1989 and went on to head the air and radiation division at the EPA under the current administration. “For them it was essentially a full-time job,” he says. “These were the senior-most people in the White House who would meet about this every day.” As a result, legislation that had floundered in Congress for nearly a decade took off, and amendments to the Clean Air Act passed the following year, establishing a cap-and-trade programme for sulphur dioxide that would later serve as a model for the Kyoto Protocol.


A president could also take advantage of manpower and expertise that Congress lacks. In this case, that means marshalling career experts at agencies such as the EPA and the Department of Energy to tackle global warming. Currently in climate legislation, says Doniger, “you have literally a handful of staff on the Hill trying to put the whole thing together, and there are a lot of experts in the agencies who are being held back. If you are trying to build a skyscraper and you are trying to learn welding at the same time, it's more difficult than if you have all the welders there with you”.

Bureaucratic challenges


Charismatic candidates, but how green are their policies? From left to right: Fred Thompson, Barack J. L. MAGANA/AP; S. SENNE/AP; J. RAOUX/AP; C. NEIBERGALL/AP

Obama, John McCain and John Edwards.J. L. MAGANA/AP; S. SENNE/AP; J. RAOUX/AP; C. NEIBERGALL/AP


Another immediate move that a new president could make would be to restructure the government's $1.7-billion Climate Change Science Program, which coordinates climate research among 13 agencies. A recent National Academies report criticized the red tape ensnaring the programme, which reports to multiple organizations within the White House. “This is such a huge challenge that you can't have it mired in bureaucracy,” says Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change in Arlington, Virginia. “You have to have direct links into the decision makers, and that means the cabinet level and the White House.”


The administration could also make it easier for individual states to pursue their own programmes. The administration of George W. Bush has so far refused to rule on a petition from California that seeks permission to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions from automobiles. Even if Bush decides to deny that petition in favour of the federal regulations he is expected to issue next year, a new president might be able to revisit that.


Getting the domestic agenda in order is just the first major step for a new president. The next would be coordinating that with a major international change in agenda, which is something only a president can do. “You've got to work on parallel tracks,” says Dan Esty, director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy in New Haven, Connecticut. “You don't bring a bill to Congress until you've got an international treaty tied down, but you don't go to the international community without a series of domestic packages.”

“All the president has to do is essentially get on the phone and begin talking.”


President Bush has alienated much of the world by refusing to endorse any mandatory greenhouse-gas reductions, but the new administration will be in a position to assume a leadership role as the international community works toward a post-Kyoto agreement. “All the president has to do is essentially get on the phone to the European Union, the G8 countries, the other major economies and developing nations, and begin talking,” says Robert Stavins, an economist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Some experts believe the new president might even be able to push a new approach onto the international agenda if fellow world leaders believe the United States is serious about global warming. Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, has already signalled a willingness to entertain alternative ideas to ensure that everybody is on board the next global climate treaty. He says the notion of using a variety of national commitments — things such as renewable-energy standards, fuel-efficiency regulations or even elimination of energy subsidies — might be worth considering in addition to Kyoto-style carbon caps. Different types of commitments would be available to countries facing various economic and political realities.


De Boer also downplays his expectations of progress under a new administration, pointing out that Kyoto itself serves as a reminder of the limitations of the US presidency and the power of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. “It was President Clinton who never took the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate, because he knew he wouldn't get it through,” he says. “The Kyoto experience shows that if an administration negotiates something that the Senate isn't willing to ratify, you are not really that much better off.”

Internal doubts

As if leading the free world weren't enough, the new president will also have to address any lingering scepticism from the American public. Global warming consistently ranks as an issue of concern to US voters, but some polls put it far behind other national priorities such as terrorism, education, immigration and health care. A new leader might even be able to help activists establish a new, more hopeful icon for global warming. Polar bears on melting ice floes might not be enough to convince Americans, long accustomed to cheap energy, that $5-per-gallon gasoline is acceptable, fears Severin Borenstein, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. “But maybe a charismatic leader can get people to make sacrifices over the long term,” he says.


In the end, many experts expect that whatever the next president achieves domestically will set the standard for a post-Kyoto agreement. Many international delegates hope to achieve an agreement on the post-Kyoto framework by 2009, an aggressive goal that leaves the new president less than a year to get everything done. “It's more realistic to look at early-to-mid 2010,” says Esty. “Three or four months for the administration to get its feet on the ground, a year to get the negotiations done. It's a fast pace, but a doable one.”


Jeff Tollefson covers climate, energy and the environment for Nature.


A book on : Carbon-free and Nuclear-free: A Roadmap for US policy" can be read here.



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