Kyoto Protocol Convention

Kyoto Protocol Convention (Photo credit: Marufish)

The opening sessions of the United Nations Climate Change meeting in Doha, Qatar witnessed the United States resisting pledges of steeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.  U.S. Deputy climate envoy John Pershing stated, “President Obama was sticking to his 2009 goal of cutting emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020″.  Even that target was rejected by the U.S. Senate.

The United States’ refusal to back the Kyoto Protocol has been joined by China, Russia, Japan and Canada, leaving the European Union and Australia as the larger countries supporting the pact, along with ore than 100 developing countries and Kyoto backers.  The recent protocol dropouts agree with the position of the United States that “it is meaningless to extend cuts under Kyoto when big emerging countries have no curbs on emission”.  It is for this very reason that the United States never ratified the Kyoto Protocol.  The worry here is that without extension of the Kyoto Protocol, there only would be national actions without any legally binding UN pacts.

With the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and its ever-increasing price tag still on the minds of Americans, along with the acknowledgement of key political figures that climate change and global warming are harsh realities that need urgent attention, it is evident that Americans are ready to tackle these issues.  Additionally, President Obama pledged to do more to address the issues of climate change in his second term.  With or without the Kyoto Protocol, it is important that we as citizens educate ourselves on the issue of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, keeping dialogue on the forefront.  More than ever, we must demand that our elected officials commit to plans to upgrade failing power grids and outdated infrastructure and to implement solutions for cleaner and more efficient energy.  Now is the time for America to take the lead and be the driving force to effect change so that we live green, be green.

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The Alliance of Institutional Investors, a coalition of the world’s largest investors have called on governments to focus on climate change and to strongly support investments in clean energy.  This group stated in an open letter that “rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions and more extreme weather were increasing investment risks globally”.

The alliance’s call for governments to address the issue of climate change more aggressively precedes the start of the United Nations climate talks in Doha, Qatar where approximately 200 countries will convene with the goal of extending the Kyoto Protocol, which is the existing plan adopted by developed nations to curb greenhouse gas emissions and is slated to expire at the end of this year.

The alliance notes that governments can effectively address climate change and cleaner energy by adopting the proper policies that would make investment in clean and efficient energy attractive to institutional investors.  It also voiced the urgent need to issue “strong carbon-reducing policies”.  The letter came with a dire warning that failure on the part of governments to act to address climate change with its warming trends would result in extreme weather occurrences becoming more typical and costly as recently witnessed with Hurricane Sandy.

Hopefully, the United Nations climate talks scheduled for 11/26 through 12/7 will be productive and will result in the establishment of global collaborative policies and plans to aggressively attack the problems of climate change.  With the support of institute investors, governments can expect to make huge gains in the fight to curb greenhouse gas emissions and create cleaner energy efficiently so that we all can live green, be green.

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Climate change

Climate change (Photo credit: jeancliclac)