"A Stopgap for Climate Change" by Elisabeth Rosenthal. A new UN report says: targeting "black carbon" (soot) could immediately begin to protect climate, public health, water and food security, and ecosystems. This idea seems more otimely than ever in a political situation tilted against big programs to curb carbon emissions. See the piece published by European Affairs here, after a European Institute meeting that aired the subject of black carbon in the Arctic.
On September 20, 2010, the European Institute welcomed The Honorable Eamon Ryan T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources of the Republic of Ireland. In a comprehensive presentation on Harnessing the Knowledge and Green Economies for Sustainable Growth, Minister Ryan began by addressing the Ireland’s current debt crisis and the government’s efforts to reduce the budget deficit to 3% of GDP in five years and to achieve more that 4% growth by 2012. Central to these efforts is investment and trade in the energy and ICT sectors, which Minister Ryan argues are key components for sustainable economic growth. As examples, he cited Ireland’s implementation of a National Retrofit Program to deliver energy efficiency upgrades and ongoing efforts to draw upon such plentiful renewable energy resources as wind. Minister Ryan stressed the importance of similar priorities in the European Union and emphasized the need for a common energy market within the EU, a single European digital market, and freer global technology transfer between the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
During this seminar, experts from both sides of the Atlantic discussed and debated key ideas and mechanisms for reducing global carbon emissions and containing costs. Panelists addressed the debate between the cap and trade system and carbon tax as well as internationalizing efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The speakers noted that effective market measures are critical to making real progress and that the continuing debate between cap and trade and carbon tax measures is crucial for driving innovation and investment.
The Roundtable featured members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism who presented an overview of their priorities, including: the negotiations of the second stage of the EU-U.S. Aviation Agreement; the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme; air traffic management; the EU-U.S. agreement on aviation safety; and aviation and maritime security, including container scanning. Members of the Committee’s delegation included: The Honorable Paolo Costa, Chairman of the Committee, The Honorable Georg Jarzembowski, and The Honorable Saïd El Khadraoui. The Honorable Jonathan Evans, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Delegation to the United States was also present and underlined the importance of continued EU-U.S. cooperation on transport issues. The United States perspective was represented by Lynne Pickard, Deputy Director of the Office of Environment and Energy at the Federal Aviation Administration, who outlined the U.S. policy regarding aviation emissions, and Michael Scardaville, Acting Director of European and Multilateral Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, who addressed U.S. aviation security issues, in particular, the 100% container scanning initiative.
Despite continuing basic differences about how to combat climate change, Europe and the United States are now taking the same road on one important initiative: imposing cuts on CO2 emissions from passenger cars.
© COPYRIGHT THE EUROPEAN INSTITUTE 2009
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