I got sent a pdf of the print version last month, but it’s now available online. They asked me to make a prediction about Copenhagen back in the summer, by writing about it as if it had just happened. I guess I was wrong about the US legislation!
Matt Dernoga, campaign director for University of Maryland for Clean Energy:
I have mixed emotions. COP15 was better than analysts were anticipating six months ago—President Obama arrived toward the end, committing America to targets for which the Senate had just voted. Western Europe did well (aside from Italy). Canada was an embarrassment. China committed to certain reductions in energy intensity, and to emissions peaking no later than 2020. This was earlier than the 2035 they were rumored to be pushing, and helped hold talks together. Interestingly, the real unsung hero was Japan. Fresh off elections in late August, it set a target of 25 percent below 1990 levels. This brought China along, as it wasn’t about to lose the clean energy race to a regional rival. It reminds me of the debate over the bill the United States passed. Most politicians and some environmental organizations are calling it a win. Greenpeace, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, and NASA scientist James Hansen say the framework in place doesn’t reduce emissions fast enough to avoid runaway climate change. My take is that we didn’t get enough to declare victory, but we won enough to keep on fighting.