With President Barack Obama’s commitment to positioning the United States as a leader on climate change action, the expectations are high in the international community that a post-Kyoto climate agreement—as agreed at COP13 in Bali through the Bali Action Plan—will be successfully negotiated in Copenhagen in December.
While there is momentum for “green” recovery packages around the globe, the financial crisis creates not only opportunities but challenges for both the public and private sectors to make the transition to a low-carbon future. The recent scandals on Wall Street, for example, might lead to skepticism about the U.S. government’s ability to regulate a potential new carbon market making it even more difficult for the U.S. to enact domestic legislation. How high should the bar realistically be set for the upcoming climate change negotiations?
On March 4, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion with top officials and experts within the international climate community to discuss the global economic situation’s impact on the world’s ability to address climate change; how a global green stimulus could help alleviate the crisis; and how to make Copenhagen a win-win situation for developed and developing countries alike.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.