Prospects for the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen and U.S. Energy and Climate Legislation     Print
Tuesday, 01 December 2009

On Tuesday December 1, 2009, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Royal Danish Embassy, convened a meeting to address prospects for the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference and U.S. energy and environment policy. While expectations for the conference to achieve real success have fallen recently, the experts who addressed the two panel seminar all concurred that this conference is an essential step towards securing effective climate change legislation.


The first panel, moderated by Lisa Friedman, Deputy Editor of ClimateWire, addressed what obstacles must be overcome and whether an agreement can be reached in Copenhagen. His Excellency Friis Arne Petersen, Ambassador of Denmark to the United States, The Honorable Timothy Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, The Honorable Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and Ned Helme, President of the Center for Clean Air Policy offered their opinions. The conclusions of the first panel were split between pessimism and optimism, but the crucial takeaway was the continuing importance of global dialogue to engage all countries in the climate change process. The second panel was moderated by Anne Thompson, Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent at NBC and shifted the focus from international mitigation efforts towards U.S. legislative attempts to curb carbon emissions. The panelists included: Jonathan Lash, President of the World Resources Institute, Jason Grumet, President of the Bipartisan Policy Center, Martha Wyrsch, President of Vestas Americas and Jim Connaughton, Executive Vice President of Constellation Energy.