Obama's U.S. Carbon Cuts Likely To Win Muted Applause

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Sunday, June 01, 2014
President Barack Obama

 

President Barack Obama's plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants, due to be announced on Monday, will win muted applause abroad with some hopes it could help a U.N. deal to fight climate change in 2015.

Emerging economies including China and India are likely to be lukewarm because they have often said that Obama's plans for emissions cuts until 2020 - even if fully implemented - are far short of the curbs they say are needed by the rich.

But the U.S. plan to limit emissions by existing power plants could put pressure on other nations in U.N. talks on a deal meant to be agreed at a summit in Paris in late 2015.

Obama's plan will be a "good signal" for Paris by showing that "one of the world's biggest emitters is taking the future of the planet and its people seriously," said Christiana Figueres, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat in Bonn.

The Paris summit is meant to agree plans by almost 200 nations to slow global warming beyond 2020, when it will enter into force. It will succeed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which sets cuts only for about 40 industrialised nations until 2020.

Governments and companies are looking to China and the United Statesin the run-up to 2015 for signs of their commitment to move away from fossil fuels in what could be a trillion-dollar economic shift.

A U.N. panel of climate scientists says it is at least 95 percent likely that man-made greenhouse gases are the main cause of warming that is threatening water and food supplies with ever more heatwaves, downpours and rising sea levels.

INADEQUATE

Ronny Jumeau, ambassador of the Seychelles at the United Nations and a spokesman for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) which fears rising sea levels, said Obama's plan on Monday would be "inadequate in the greater scheme of things".

Still, he said the plan, to be announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), might trigger action.

"If he manages to do as planned, will this be the moment when the U.S. can finally say to China, India and other major developing emitters: 'I've done as you've asked all these years, now what about you?'"

Many nations have been disappointed by Obama's actions since he took office in 2009 talking of fixing a "planet in peril". Obama's plans to legislate cuts in emissions failed in 2010 because of Senate opposition.

"I have increasingly the feeling that the epicenter of success is theUnited States and China finding common ground in what they are willing to sign up for in Paris," said Yvo de Boer, who was U.N. climate chief when a 2009 summit in Copenhagen failed to agree a climate treaty.

De Boer now heads the Global Green Growth Institute in South Korea.

Obama's goal of a 17 percent emissions cut by 2020 from 2005 levels has been helped by a shift to shale gas from coal and amounts to a 3.5 percent cut from 1990, the U.N. benchmark year. Many other rich nations are on track for deeper cuts.

European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard's office said that "the U.S. announcement, if substantial and far-reaching, could have a positive impact in the global climate talks." A session of the talks resumes in Bonn, Germany, on Wednesday.

Obama said on Saturday that the planned EPA measures would also curb air pollution from burning fossil fuels that is especially damaging for the health of children and the elderly. Power stations account for about 40 percent of U.S. emissions.

Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the EPA plan would be the "jewel in the crown" of Obama's policy until 2020 but cautioned it was only the start of a protracted process with likely challenges from industry and states.

"This is not a silver bullet that will transform the international landscape," he said.

And Changhua Wu, Greater China director of The Climate Group, a non-profit adviser on emissions, doubted Obama's plan would have much impact on Beijing. "China is going to continue to make efforts because it has to deal with air pollution and energy security anyway," she said.

Washington wants the 2015 Paris deal to be a compilation of national plans for emissions curbs beyond 2020, far short of a binding U.N. treaty favoured by many emerging nations.

(With extra reporting by Nina Chestney in London and Stian Reklev in Beijing, editing by Rosalind Russell)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

P&I Club warns on Enclosed Space Entry & Testing

The London P&I Club says it continues to see cases of injuries and fatalities associated with entry into enclosed onboard spaces, including cargo holds on bulk

OOCL Renews VOD Training Contract

Videotel, producer and distributor of training videos, 3D animation, and e-Learning courses to the maritime market and part of KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI),

Tech & Design Solutions for Modern Workboats

EPA Tier 4 regulations (for engines of 804 hp and higher) and propulsion advancements have many manufacturers and vessel designers changing course to adapt to new requirements and customer demands.

New Products

Norsafe Debuts New RIB in Gothenburg

Norsafe has released its first RIB, the Marathon 900, to compliment its range of boat models for professional and military customers.  Launched at High Speed

Damen Unveils Multi-role Utility Vessel

Work is due to start shortly on the first of a new class of Damen utility vessel UV2410.   This multi-role platform is the result of extensive consultation with

DLM Launches Container Load Monitoring System

Chant Engineering announced that business partner DLM has introduced a new product for the International Shipping Industry: the Twistlock Load Cell and Container Load Monitoring System.

Legal

Portugal PM Warns Lisbon Dock Workers to End Strike

Portugal's prime minister warned Lisbon dock workers on Friday that his patience was running out after a strike that has lasted a month, paralysing the city's ports.

Gender Identity Spat Sinks Spending Bill

The rancorous political debate over sexual identity unexpectedly prompted the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to rejected an energy and water spending

Hercules Offshore Filing for Bankruptcy Again

Hercules Offshore Inc said it planned to file for prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy, just six months after the rig contractor emerged from bankruptcy protection.

Finance

Defense Appropriations Bill Includes $1 Bln for US Icebreaker

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY2017 Defense Appropriations Bill has included $1 billion in funding to accelerate construction of a new polar icebreaker for the U.

Higher Capesize Demand Pushes up Baltic Index

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Friday buoyed by higher demand for capesize vessels.

TT Club Reports Robust Financial Results for 2015

TT Club has announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2015, and AM Best affirms its A- (Excellent) rating for the 10th consecutive year.   Knud Pontoppidan,

Environmental

US Navy Updated Zika Virus Infection Guidance

Navy Medicine released updated Zika Virus Infection guidance in NAVADMIN 121/16, May 26, communicating current information, travel precautions, and risk reduction

Seaspan Acquires Eighth 14000 TEU Vessel

Seaspan Corporation (NYSE:SSW) announced today that it accepted delivery of a 14000 TEU containership, the YM Width. The new containership, which was constructed at CSBC Corporation,

GloMEEP Project Forges Ahead with Train-the-Trainer Workshop

A global Train-the-Trainer workshop on energy efficiency has been delivered in China (23-27 May), preparing the personnel needed to cascade knowledge on energy

Energy

Strike In France: Implications for Tanker Demand

After the oil industry suffered from a severe drought in Venezuela, forest fires in Canada and rebel attacks on oil installations in Nigeria, it is now facing

Floating Storage Flattens Fortunes of $50 Crude

The prices of WTI and Brent crude briefly rose above $50/bbl during intraday trading on Thursday, the highest level seen since the end of July 2015, giving traders a brief moment of optimism,

GloMEEP Project Forges Ahead with Train-the-Trainer Workshop

A global Train-the-Trainer workshop on energy efficiency has been delivered in China (23-27 May), preparing the personnel needed to cascade knowledge on energy

News

Deployment: The Transpacific Trade Steps Up To The Plate

In 2015, it was the Asia-Europe route which was the focus of changing deployment trends, says Clarksons Research.   This year, it is the Transpacific trade which

US Navy Updated Zika Virus Infection Guidance

Navy Medicine released updated Zika Virus Infection guidance in NAVADMIN 121/16, May 26, communicating current information, travel precautions, and risk reduction

CBP, AMO Unveils New Interceptor Vessel

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and SAFE Boat International celebrated the unveiling of AMO’s newest coastal interceptor vessel (CIV) Thursday.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1432 sec (7 req/sec)