First of all, here's the simplest headline statement: Things improved significantly at the Synthesis Report (SYR) government approval sessions in Copenhagen last week, but in saying this, I am only referring to the material for which I've been responsible. Let me explain.
The Obama Administration's proposed regulation of existing power-sector sources of CO2 has the potential to be cost-effective, and if you accept these numbers, it can also be welfare-enhancing, if not welfare-maximizing.
My serious concerns about the effects of the government approval process on one section of the SPM should be considered in the much larger context of what is an exceptionally valuable scientific resource for those concerned with climate change.
Several of the CLAs present with me in Berlin commented that given the nature and outcome of the week, the resulting document should probably be called the 'summary by policymakers,' rather than the 'summary for policymakers.'
International negotiations continued under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The two most important countries in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions -- China and the U.S. -- engaged in a war of words.
I'm referring to the CO2 cap-and-trade allowance auction held by the State of California. The fact that the auction ran smoothly and compliance entities and others put their money down is one important step in establishing the program's credibility.
In 1998 and for the subsequent eight years or so, I remained agnostic regarding what I viewed as the trade-offs between cap-and-trade and carbon taxes. What happened to change that? Three words: The Hamilton Project.
The negotiating teams are now tasked under the Durban Platform with identifying a new comprehensive policy architecture. The negotiators are therefore hungry for new ideas, in particular for outside-the-box thinking.
Since when are low prices considered to be a problem? To understand what's going on, we need to remind ourselves of the purpose (and promise) of a cap-and-trade regime, and then look at what's been happening in the respective markets.
In the U.S., political polarization has decimated what had long been the key political constituency in the Congress for environmental action, namely, the middle, including both moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats.
Market-based approaches to environmental protection should be lauded, not condemned, by political leaders, no matter what their party affiliation. Otherwise, there will be severe and perverse long-term consequences for the economy.