US Congressman Edward Markey Predicts Comprehensive Climate Bill by End of the Year. Cop16 In Mexico Later this Year to Focus on Targets
- US Congressman Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts) predicts President Obama will have new clean energy bill by end of the year
- Mexican President Felipe Caldéron expects COP16 in Mexico later this year to set emission targets
- Renault and Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn calls for an integrated approach
- For all information about the Annual Meeting, visit www.weforum.org/annualmeeting
US Congressman Edward Markey told the World Economic Forum that President Obama has committed himself to passing climate legislation and that he fully expects the Senate and House of Representatives to produce a bill for President Obama to sign by the end of the year.
Markey said: "The reason that I believe that will happen is that it is in our national security and longterm economic interests." A large part of the US deficit, Markey added, results from importing oil from countries to which the United States should not be sending its capital.
Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts who coauthored a 946page clean energy bill with Representative Henry Waxman (D-California), said that a Republican coalition is working with the White House to produce the final bill. He added that if Congress cannot arrive at a comprehensive energy bill, President Obama has the executive authority to regulate greenhouse gases without legislation. "If we have legislation, it allows us to moderate the impact on consumers and industry," Markey said.
Mexican President Felipe Caldéron said that US Congressional approval of a clean energy bill could open new opportunities. One possibility, he said, could be solar energy farms along the US-Mexican border which would provide electricity to the US. Mexico will host COP16, the next Conference of Parties to the UN Framework on Climate Change. President Caldéron said that it is important to learn from the mistakes at the recent COP15 meeting in Copenhagen. While that meeting left many people disappointed, President Caldéron said that it had managed to get a political commitment to the necessity for action. A major problem at Copenhagen was that many states have different reasons for being concerned about the climate. "The idea is to hear everyone," he said. The meeting in Mexico, he added, will need to set targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases.
Chief Executive Officer of Renault and Nissan Carlos Ghosn stressed the need for an integrated approach to climate change. He pointed out that the best solution for reducing carbon emissions from cars may come from collaboration with the oil and chemical industries. "We want to make sure that we are targeting the best solution, the one that makes the most sense and requires the least resources."
Encouraging an integrated approach, he added, would encourage the industry to improve its representation. Under the framework of the World Economic Forum, four auto industry CEOs, representing a substantial portion of the industry, have signed a joint statement, committing to a vision of decarbonizing automotive transport. Ghosn said: "If we don't push for an integrated approach, the public and governments will have difficulty understanding what the technology will allow you to do, because at the end of the day most of the solutions will come from innovation and technology. Governments need to have an objective image of what technology allows you to do." The full joint statement is available online at http://www.weforum.org/pdf/ip/au/FinalCEOStatement.pdf
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