California Floats Plan B in Cancun

Photo: Gretchen Weber

After the hype and subsequent disappointment surrounding last year’s UN climate talks in Copenhagen, which failed to produce binding global agreement on emissions reductions, the expectations for this year’s talks, which open in Cancun, Mexico today, are much more modest.

“We’re not going to get a global, legally binding deal at Cancun,” UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced at the Governors’ Global Climate Summit at UC Davis earlier this month. “We’ve got to make it a staging post toward that deal.”

Rather than focusing on a comprehensive binding agreement, negotiators will likely focus on technical steps that could pave the way for a final deal at next year’s talks in South Africa, when the Kyoto Protocol expires. Those might include financing for developing nations to deal with climate change; setting standards for measuring, reporting, and verifying nations’ greenhouse gas emissions; and tackling emissions from deforestation.

Meanwhile, California is moving ahead with its plans to organize a network of sub-national cooperation, called the R20, which Governor Schwarzenegger announced in Copenhagen last year and officially launched at his summit in Davis two weeks ago.

“As a binding international agreement remains elusive, we know that there’s a lot of work that can be done at the sub-national level,” said Cal-EPA Secretary Linda Adams, who will be in Cancun promoting R20.  “In fact the UN itself says that up to 80% of all mitigation that will be required to keep the Earth’s temps stable will be done at the sub-national level.”

That work will primarily focus on organizing regional and local governments around to world to work together on clean energy projects, said Terry Tamminen, the former Cal-EPA chief who is currently leading R20 efforts.

“Basically our main purpose [at Cancun] is simply to say to them ‘Look, you’re not the only ones in this game, and we know you’re all frustrated because you haven’t been able to reach a successor agreement to Kyoto, but we at the subnational level are here to help. We’re going to be this bottom-up, even as you continue to try to get the top-down agreement and we’ll be waiting for you, whenever you show up,'” said Tamminen.

Over the last year, R20 has grown to include 69 governments and organizations, and Tamminen said he expects 100 members by the end of the year.  He said he’ll spend the next few months recruiting members, organizing structurally as an organization, lining up financing, and identifying projects that are “low-hanging fruit,” such as installing efficient street lighting, replacing old boilers with more efficient ones, and piloting waste-to-energy programs.

Tamminen said that Gov. Schwarzenegger plans to “devote a lot of his time” to R20 when he leaves office in January. 

“Next year in South Africa when the world meets, and the UN is once again looking for a global deal, you can imagine him taking center stage and saying, “Well, we’ve got a deal for you!” said Tamminen.

Gretchen Weber will remain in Cancun for the next two weeks, following the UN climate talks as a fellow with the Earth Journalism Network, a project of Internews. You can check back here, at the Climate Watch blog for dispatches, and follow her on Twitter at:

California Floats Plan B in Cancun 2 February,2018Gretchen Weber

3 thoughts on “California Floats Plan B in Cancun”

  1. Global Climate Elite and Population Control In Cancun – Propose Global Population Relocation to Green Work Zones to Fight Co2
    The Global Elite scientists Announce Massive Agenda that stalled in Copenhagen, Due to Climate Data Fraud, Starting with the Renewed call for Mandatory Rationing in Developed World Consumption and Production.
    Global warming is now such a serious threat to mankind that climate change experts are calling for Great Depression WWII rationing in western countries to bring down carbon emissions and limit population growth.


  2. Mary Nichols, CARB Chair, on AB32 global warming performance.

    Audit the fed, support HR1207Paul

    * * Alex Farrell, Gray Davis & Gary Condit interest in fuel oxygenates seemed interesting

    * * California CalEPA Secretary Linda Adams, signed a MOU with the UN in China on earth day. China gets about 50% of the world carbon tax and the China government gets a 50% tax of the credits.

    ** China goods and services may increase

    ** We pay the (ethanol or) carbon tax and Pew Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) Member Companies: ABB, Air Products, Alcoa Inc., American Electric Power, Bank of America, BASF, Baxter International Inc., The Boeing Company, BP, California Portland Cement, CH2M HILL, Citi, Cummins Inc., Deere & Company, Deutsche Telekom, The Dow Chemical Company, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, DuPont, Entergy, Exelon, GE, Hewlett-Packard Company, Holcim (US) Inc., IBM, Intel, Interface Inc., Johnson Controls, Inc., Lockheed Martin, Marsh, Inc., Novartis, Ontario Power Generation, PG&E Corporation, PNM Resources, Rio Tinto, Rohm and Haas, Royal Dutch/Shell, SC Johnson, Toyota, TransAlta, United Technologies, Weyerhaeuser, Whirlpool Corporation, Wisconsin Energy Corporation and friends may all share in the public/private partnership of corporate and NGO welfare

    Get food out of my gas

    * * Valero is #1 corn fuel ethanol producer in the US

    * * Was Dr. Russell Long/REAP/Pavley 2002 CA tailpipe bill for corn fuel ethanol, Bill Jones’ Pacific Ethanol business?

    * * Clean Air Performance Professionals (CAPP) supports a Smog Check inspection & repair secret shopper audit, gasoline ethanol fuel cap and elimination of dual fuel CAFÉ credit to cut car impact over 50% in 1 year.

    * * Some folks believe ethanol in gasoline increases oil use and oil profit

    * * Ethanol uses lots of water

    * * A Smog Check audit would cut toxic car impact in ½ in 1 year. Chief Sherry Mehl, CA/DCA/BAR, has never found out if what is broken on a Smog Check failed car gets fixed.

    * * An ethanol waiver would stop billions in California Big oil refinery welfare program

    * * About 60,000 barrels per day of the oil used by cars is allowed by the “renewable fuel” CAFE credit

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