Carbonfund.org Calls for U.S. to Stay Home from U.N. Climate Negotiations, Urges Rest of the World to Make a Deal
SILVER SPRING, Md. - Carbonfund.org, the leading U.S. nonprofit climate change solutions organization, is calling for the U.S. to stay out of the way of international climate negotiations which begin November 29 in Cancun, Mexico. The organization is encouraging participating countries to extend the Kyoto Protocol–set to expire in 2012–or agree on a new emissions reduction treaty without the United States.
'The U.S. has been the 800-pound gorilla in the room at climate negotiations,' said Eric Carlson, President, Carbonfund.org. 'As the largest global emitter per capita with enormous entourages at the meetings, all attention goes toward the U.S. Put simply, the problem is that there are not 67 votes in the U.S. 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.'
While the conventional wisdom is that not much can happen in Cancun and beyond without the U.S., Carbonfund.org is urging parties to the treaty to move forward. 'There are enough potential carbon buyers in the European Union, Japan, Australia and Canada and enough potential carbon sellers in China, India, Indonesia and Brazil to create a robust carbon reduction pact,' said Carlson. Nearly a hundred other smaller countries could also sign onto a global pact.
Carbonfund.org is calling on other countries to take action now, at a minimum by extending the term of the Kyoto protocol, or by taking steps to build on the progress of Kyoto and the voluntary carbon markets. 'We have the technical capability and market readiness to transform our global economy to one where clean energy costs less than dirty energy and efficient technology costs less than inefficient technology,' added Carlson. 'That is the goal.'
The work of several U.S. states combating climate change is an example. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a mandatory, market-based effort to reduce emissions from electricity production by 10 northeast states, including New York. California begins regulating carbon in 2012. Taken together, states with active climate programs would rank among the largest five economies of the world.
'The key to solving climate change is making the market transformation from carbon-intensive fossil fuels to zero-emissions clean energy. This shift is more likely to happen if the U.S. stopped being an obstacle and stayed home from the Cancun meeting and the rest of the world stepped up and made its own deal to cut carbon emissions,' said Carlson.