The Past Few Hectic Weeks in Climate Change

The last few weeks have seen a number of big moves in climate policy.

US EPA Lets California Regulate GHG Emissions in Cars – On June 30, 2009, the US EPA backed off and let California Air Resources Board proceed with its longstanding plans to regulate greenhouse emissions from cars, after long resistance from the Bush Whitehouse.

Quick & Dirty Analysis – When it comes to the environment, where goes California, goes the US, eventually, and in climate policy where goes the US goes the world, probably. At the very least this plus a California low carbon fuel policy will make for interesting auto industry machinations at least.

Waxman-Markey Passess – This month, the US climate change bill Waxman Markey passed the House. On to the real battle, in the Senate.

Quick & Dirty Analysis – We’re out of the House, but the battle’s begun. Compromises are good, since it was never going to get through the Senate without them, especially since the US has a huge geographic divide over the economic impacts of cap and trade. The bill is a study in compromise, but this was a big, big test ahead of Copenhagen.

And the G8 starts thinking climate change.

Quick & Dirty Analysis – This is good. Climate change solutions are are heart a trade problem, not a local environmental protection problem like NOx, SOx, et al. The Bush policy, and the Clinton policy (both of them), and the McCain policy, and hopefully the Obama policy, was always to circle up the big emitters, including China, Russia, India, Brazil + the rest in the G8, and get on the same page. Until that happens. No nice for saving the world.

Neal Dikeman is a partner at Jane Capital Partners, and has cofounded, run, invested in, or served as a director of multiple startups in cleantech and technology. He is Chairman of Carbonflow and, and Texas Aggie.

3 replies
  1. Allison Kade
    Allison Kade says:

    What kind of concessions do you think will be necessary to get developing nations on board for G8? Do you think that Obama's attention is too divided between the effort to pass Waxman-Markey and the G8 meeting?

  2. Neal Dikeman
    Neal Dikeman says:

    Allison,My guess is the US will have to give heavily on trade concessions to China and India, and agree to much lower targets for the globe for the near term.

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