Blog Post

The World Preps for Obama's Climate Change Policy

President-elect Barack Obama just held his first post-election press conference and focused on the economy, but it is his forthcoming climate change policies that are spurring the world’s governments and businesses to start reaching out to the next administration. Politicians and business executives are maneuvering to protect the aged fossil fuel industry while also looking to grab a piece of Obama’s proposed $150 billion clean energy plan. Let the lobbying for a new climate-conscious energy economy begin in earnest!

Less than 24 hours after the U.S. election results came in, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper moved to begin talks on a climate pact with Obama. Critics have already pointed out that Harper’s hasty move was an effort to secure concessions for the lucrative but dirty tar sands business that has been booming in that country’s province of Alberta. Harper’s administration is confident that Obama will be lenient on Canada’s oil sands as they help provide energy security. At least, that’s what they’re saying. Whether that is in fact the case remains to be seen.

Foreign companies looking to be part of Obama’s new energy economy are eager, though cautious, about the prospect of long-term incentives and regulatory certainty under his administration. European wind developers like EDF Energies Nouvelles and Siemens hope that President-elect Obama will upgrade the aging grid and allow for the trading of production tax credit rights, both of which would encourage even more wind energy development.

There’s no shortage of advice being given as to how Obama should tackle climate and energy issues. He will have to pick a decisive direction soon, especially with the UN preparing to negotiate a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol at the end of 2009, when Obama will have to prove to the world that America is ready to take the lead on climate change.

7 Responses to “The World Preps for Obama's Climate Change Policy”

  1. Its all scripted talk. Obama cannot afford to implement any changes right now. His biggest job is tackling this “recession” problem. He has to try to fix things, which mostly invlove printing a lot of money, before this recession becomes a “depression.” The envirnment is the least of his concerns, but from time to time he will give a cute speech showing some of his green supporters he really cares.

  2. With the next international climate negotiation set to occur in Poland in just under two weeks, he also signaled that he will restore America’s leadership in international global warming negotiations (as I discussed here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/ blogs/ jschmidt/ obama_signals_leadership_on_global_warming.html).

    With his statement today and his request for a report back from Members of Congress attending the Poland meeting, the President-elect has sent the signal that the delegates have waited so long to hear.

  3. oregoncanuck

    Pursuing efforts in in tar-sand oil capture just shows how unwilling we are to move away from an economy and infrastructure reliant on oil. The economic and environmental costs of processing the oil sands are ludicrous. It costs almost as much energy to remove the oil than is actually retrieved.

  4. oh and F^#K carbon-capture. its STUPID!

    gawd there are so many IDIOTS out there.

    send the co2 to a algae production plant, turn your waste into fuel you morons.

    Unf’n believable.

  5. From the article you quote: “Mr. Mar said international studies suggest that the emissions from the oil sands are comparable to conventional sources of oil, if the companies implement so-called carbon-capture-and-storage technology.”

    However, carbon-capture-and-storage is a concept, not a technology. Until it is a proven technology, comparisons that rely on it are only theories.