Monday, December 8, 2008

climate change policy

I'm behind on blogs and podcasts (though I'm always behind on podcasts), so last week I was listening to Living on Earth from November 21. In a segment about Obama's pledge to advance climate change policy, two interviewees from China and India noted that if the US takes a leadership role in climate and energy policy, the rest of the world will have to follow.

An excerpt from the transcript (emphasis mine):

AHEARN: Obama's speech before the nation's governors sets the stage for upcoming climate talks in Poland next month. Fuchan Yang, vice-president of Beijing-based Energy Foundation, says Obama's commitment to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions is a challenge China will have to meet.

YANG: Now the wind change – the new administration will make change – also this change is not only for U.S. but also in China. So here China will exceed U.S. very soon become number one emitters. So when U.S. joins the international community for the commitment, China have to do something.

AHEARN: India also faces that challenge – the rapidly developing nation is a major emitter of greenhouse gases. Arvind Kumar, of the Indian Forest Service, attended the Governors' conference in California. He heard Barack Obama's speech.

KUMAR: He was full of confidence and conviction as far as tackling this great global climate issue is concerned. The USA is the number one country in the world and the president elect of that country, if he's confident we're going to tackle it, I think the world will tackle it. All countries will support, irrespective of caste, color, region or politics. It's a great issue because in this particular crisis, either all of us will remain or all of us will perish.

This is a frustrating affirmation that the US really has been holding back global progress in so many ways for the past 8 years.

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