2012 was a year of potential turning points. A number of new "plurilateral" approaches to problem-solving came to the fore, offering genuine hope. A wave of emerging countries, led by China, embraced market-based green growth strategies.
For the past few years, the Beyond Coal campaign has been working with local activists across the United States to finally move our country off coal. But now coal companies are in a dead sprint to build 1,231 new dirty coal-fired power plants worldwide.
It's an important moment for Americans who eat fish or use electricity. After more than two decades of delays, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is poised to issue a new regulation restricting some power plant emissions that have polluted the nation's air and water.
The true issue here is not whether for-profits play an important role -- it should be clear that they do -- but rather how to encourage the right kind of for-profits to address the social needs of the poor.
Although China and Japan are deeply connected trading partners, the Asian giants sit on opposite sides of the climate debate. In spite of their differences, the two countries have a history of climate cooperation.