Tuesday, 11 December 2007

US Senate Passes Major Carbon Reduction Bill

The tide is turning.

First Australia signed Kyoto. Now the U.S. Senate has approved a bill to cut greenhouse gas emissions 70 percent by the year 2050. Carbon Clear is committed to bold action to fight climate change, and looks forward to seeing this measure turned into law.

The Senate bill, which calls for emission reductions of 70% below 2005 levels, must also be approved by the House of Representatives before the President signs it into law. It would affect virtually every sector of the U.S. economy, and signal decisive leadership in the effort to avoid the worst effects of global warming. Like the emissions caps under the Kyoto Protocol, the proposed U.S. rules would allow trading and carbon offsetting between polluters, so that emissions take place at the lowest possible economic cost to society.

According to the New York Times, Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer called the measure "the greatest accomplishment of her 30-year career."

A 70% emissiosn cut would be great news. To be sure, it goes farther than the 60% cut originally proposed in the UK's own Climate Change Bill, and is a huge improvement on the original 12% overall cuts in the original Kyoto Protocol. And because the US is one of the world's largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, cuts of this magnituded will make a tangible difference in the fight to tackle climate change.

However, many scientists and activists think we need to reduce emissions by 80%. That's one reason Carbon Clear works with companies to help them achieve the maximum internal reductions possible, and then use carbon offset credits to achieve a 100% reduction.

In the fight against climate change, half measures aren't enough. Everyone needs to take bold action. Carbon Clear is here to help.

(Carbon Clear homepage)

Monday, 3 December 2007

Australia Joins the Fight Against Climate Change

Australia's new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, ratified the Kyoto Protocol today. It was his first official action after taking the oath of office.

According to the New York Times, "This is the first official act of the new Australian government, demonstrating my government's commitment to tackling climate change," Rudd said in a statement.

The previous government refused to back legally binding emisssions targets, arguing that they would harm the economy. The Times reports that this view has now shifted:

But a new report from the environment think tank the Climate Institute, written by government and university scientists, found that Australia's economy could easily cope with strong cuts in greenhouse emissions.

It said growth would fall by only 0.1 percent of gross domestic product annually if Australia set a target of 20 percent cuts in emissions by 2020 and aimed to be carbon neutral by 2050.

"Leading the way on climate is an affordable, prudent and achievable investment," Climate Institute chief executive John Connor said on Monday.

Australia's move means that the U.S. is the only industrialised country yet to endorse the global climate change agreement.

It would be interesting to see how this new commitment affects the existing carbon offsetting scheme set up under the previous government.

(Back to Carbon Clear)