More on America’s climate change shift

In: Uncategorized

23 Jan 2007

More confirmation that America seems to be moving towards the European consensus on dealing with climate change. According to a substantial feature in today’s Financial Times the president will mention global warming in his State of the Union speech this evening – something he has not done in the past five – and link it to the debate about energy security. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal Europe has a substantial piece on how America’s biggest industrial companies are moving to agree with cuts in carbon emissions.

However, there is reason to believe that the difference between America and Europe was always exaggerated. As Gregg Easterbrook of the Brookings Institution has pointed out in the past the US has emphasised cuts in methane emissions while Europe has focused on carbon dioxide. Also America’s rejection of the Kyoto protocol seems to be more on pragmatic grounds than in principle. And there are several state-level initiatives, such as in California, that follow the European model closely.

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