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Posted on on November 22nd, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

Preview by Mr. Todd Stern, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, speaking in Washington DC, of the next week United Nations Climate Change Meeting – COP-16 in Cancun – November 29 – December 10, 2010.

Asked by the BBC radio if the Climate Change Convention is not a dead dog still waging his tail, Mr. Stern said that the UNFCCC has history and credibility on its side, but we cannot stay in a still place. The US is still of the view that it wants to make it work – the US does not look to migrate to other places.

The US wants to build on what has been achieved in Copenhagen – to come out in Cancun with a balanced package that can be taken to Cape Town a year later. That includes the topics of mitigation, adaptation, a green fund etc. We need concrete programs now but not commitments or a treaty, he said. Rather then insisting on a legal treaty that will not happen. We need rather a system of transparency and moves on adaptation and forrest preservation.

We are now at year zero on the way to a ten years 2010-2020 $30 billion initial commitment fund.

On my question if there is any follow up to the country government backed business to business connection to evolve the neded technology, I was told that the US does not know what Mexico prepared on this regard. Later, someone who was involved in all these meetings since 2003 told me that there were not enough time slots in the program for such industry based special side events – and many propositions were turn away because of lack of time. As I understood in Copenhagen, part of the Obama diplomacy when he went to Beijing ahead of Copenhagen, was to open the door to entrepreneurs so they do the heavy lifting. The Stern answer showed me that some of this was not the case.

Asked about the place of the EPA in implementing policy by rule making at a time that Congress refuses to legislate, we were told that by going in stages, first 35 miles/gallon, then 47-62 miles/gallon, in stage II, will become US automotive standard.

The US will want to find a way how development is not stymied in the Developing Countries, and that it willl happen ain a way they leapfrog to better technologies – less energy intensive. From now on – all the growth of emissions will happen in the developing world.

he regards India as a very important factor in future development, but does not want to talk of the BASIC countries as a bloc (Brazil, South Africa, China, and India).

Talking of US Congress, he said that the production of electric cars, manufactured in Ohio and Michigan, is not framed as climate but American jobs. This is understood even by those that do not profess understanding the science.

Caslifornia is an important state and they have run many times in the front of the US pack.

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