With the crucial UN climate change meetings taking place in Bali, it is tempting, at least, personally, to conclude that things have come full circle. However, the dual realities in the
i) The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a bill requiring long-term cuts in GHG emissions, the U.S. Congress passed a progressive energy bill and the news media is a twitter about the guts of emissions policy like carbon taxes vs. cap-and-trade, auctioning permits, etc. (take a look at the Cleantech Collective for ongoing coverage and debate)
ii) The three opposition parties in
In essence, international climate policy is being sabotaged by North American politics. The subtleties in the reporting from
The Bush Administration has promoted this transparently false dichotomy that the international policy is a choice between mandatory emissions targets and investing in technology and energy efficiency, at international meetings for the past year. It is senseless. An international plan with mandatory emissions cuts would inspire renewable energy projects and improved energy efficiency. In fact, the national plans under an international emissions reduction framework are certain to specifically require funding of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Yet the use of the language of false choice, reminiscent of “you are either with us, or you are with the terrorists”, by Bush Administration officials, and the parroting by the talking and blogging heads is affecting the policy debate. The Conservative Government in Canada seems to hoping for that degree of influence, trumpeting a "Canadian" approach, which is not only deeply flawed... it is not even a Canadian idea, more or less lifted from US policy.