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March 16, 2009 / Mridul

Al Gore Hopes Obama’s Radical Measures Would Bring the World Closer to Climate Deal

Speaking at the International Climate Change Congress, the former US Vice President and imminent environmental activist Al Gore expressed hope that a broad consensus on a new and ground-breaking climate deal would be reached soon. Al Gore pointed out the new steps initiated by the current US President Barack Obama, to promote renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions, as one of the main reasons for an emerging possibility of successful negotiations for a new climate deal.

President Obama has been quite aggressive in breaking away from the policies of his predecessor, President George W. Bush. His administration has answered to the critics of United States’ climate policy (or the lack of it!). No doubt the confidence among the environmental activists, like Gore, is high given the revolutionary measures announced by President Obama.

The European Union has been eagerly waiting for some kind of cap and trade scheme from the United States so that the much needed credit to finance the technology transfer from developed nations to poor nations could obtained.

The European Union is also looking at the United States to pass a carbon tax bill which eventually could form the foundations of a global carbon tax effective enough to replace the current Clean Development Mechanism of offsetting carbon emissions. A national carbon tax in the United States would put pressure on rest of the world and especially the advanced developing countries like India and China to agree to a global carbon tax, and possibly mandatory emission reduction targets.

The Obama administration has also pledged billions of dollars of investments in renewable energy in the form of direct infrastructure spending in building wind farms and solar power plants, tax rebates to families who wish to install solar panels and in research & development of new and affordable forms of renewable energy.

The steps taken by the United States may very trigger steps from the European Union to adopt stricter carbon emission reduction targets potentially laying foundations of long-term targets.

For the first time in almost a decade the United States has acknowledged its responsibility as being the one of the largest polluters in the world. India and China have long accused United States of being negligent towards its duty to act decisively on critical environmental issues. Now that the times have changed the pressure to act is now on the developing nations.

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  1. James Handley / Mar 16 2009 11:31 pm

    A carbon tax could be revenue-neutral (and this idea has Republican support) and would create incentives for India and China to enact their own, laying the groundwork for worldwide incentives for GHG emissions reductions. See “Imagine: A Harmonized, Global CO2 Tax” at

  2. Mridul Chadha / Mar 17 2009 7:40 am

    The recent carbon bill introduced in the Congress calls for providing rebates to individuals and companies to compensate them for any financial losses as a result of carbon tax. However, some believe that the low income families would be the hardest hit and the $500/year rebate proposed by White House would not be sufficient to cover the losses.

    I’m totally for a global carbon tax and a national carbon tax in United States would help the build pressure on countries around the world to agree to the same.

    It’s important to make the whole scheme revenue neutral, as you said, and the equivalence fee on imported goods could be one of the ways. But again the governments around the world would not want to take away more money from the people than it can give back – the economy would need all the consumer spending it could get at this time. Clearly, we need to think revenue neutral before we could think of carbon neutral.


  1. Al Gore Hopes Obama’s Radical Measures Would Bring the World Closer to Climate Deal | Reduce Bill
  2. Posts about Solar Power as of March 16, 2009 | Atlas Solar Solutions

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