April 15 News: U.S. And China Officially Working Together To Confront Climate Change

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"April 15 News: U.S. And China Officially Working Together To Confront Climate Change"

The U.S. and China agreed in a joint statement to create a “Climate Change Working Group” that will present cooperation opportunities “on technology, research, conservation, and alternative and renewable energy.” [The Hill]

The statement starts:

The United States of America and the People’s Republic of China recognize that the increasing dangers presented by climate change measured against the inadequacy of the global response requires a more focused and urgent initiative. The two sides have been engaged in constructive discussions through various channels over several years bilaterally and multilaterally, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process and the Major Economies Forum. In addition, both sides consider that the overwhelming scientific consensus regarding climate change constitutes a compelling call to action crucial to having a global impact on climate change.

The two countries took special note of the overwhelming scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate change and its worsening impacts, including the sharp rise in global average temperatures over the past century, the alarming acidification of our oceans, the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice, and the striking incidence of extreme weather events occurring all over the world. Both sides recognize that, given the latest scientific understanding of accelerating climate change and the urgent need to intensify global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, forceful, nationally appropriate action by the United States and China — including large-scale cooperative action — is more critical than ever. Such action is crucial both to contain climate change and to set the kind of powerful example that can inspire the world.

EPA confirmed on Friday that it delayed the greenhouse gas rules on new power plants, they said, in order to strengthen their legal case. [Washington Post]

The House Energy and Commerce Power Subcommittee will hold a markup tomorrow for the Keystone pipeline approval bill. [E&C Committee]

EPA proposed changes to the way the U.S. responds to nuclear disasters, including a sharp increase in how much radiation is allowed in food in water following leaks. [New York Times]

Sally Jewell was sworn in as the new Interior Secretary on Friday and begins work today. [The Hill]

Alaska legislators cut oil production taxes on aggrieved oil companies, which means they will have to take $861.5 million from savings to balance the budget. [Reuters]

Clean Coal still a myth: FutureGen project in Illinois found by CRS to be still in development stages after a decade and no closer to fruition. [The Hill]

Reducing powerful greenhouse gas emissions like methane, soot, and refrigerants can make an immediate impact in reducing sea-lever rise by 2100. [Nature World News]

Tesla Motors could be planning to produce an electric pickup truck in Texas. [Gas2]

The Colorado State Senate voted to raise renewable energy goals to 25 percent for rural electric co-ops. [Denver Business Journal]

Food insecurity fueled by climate change risks the lives of millions by 2050. [Guardian]

A company that produces electric cars in China (and counts Warren Buffet as its second-largest shareholder) has entered the home electricity storage business in Australia. [RenewEconomy]

Another study found that a recent slowdown in surface warming can be attributed to increased ocean warming. [Skeptical Science]

The melting Arctic inspires revolutionary oil exploration and formerly-frozen mammoth tusk exploitation. [NPR]

The Arctic will be nearly ice-free before 2050, according to a new NOAA study. [The Hill]

Global warming could affect finish times for Boston Marathon runners this century. [Discovery News]

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25 Responses to April 15 News: U.S. And China Officially Working Together To Confront Climate Change

  1. Zimzone says:

    ‘Alaska legislators cut oil production taxes on aggrieved oil companies,…’

    Translation: Big Oil has paid off enough legislators to convince Alaska they will move out of the State unless extraction taxes are lowered.

    Another definition of this is known as blackmail.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      It’s the same in Australia. The mining companies ran a ferocious advertising campaign when the Government threatened to tax their super-profits during the commodity boom. The Government turned tail, flashed its yellow streak, and surrendered. Sham democracy in all its sordid splendour.

  2. Mike Roddy says:

    Nice statement, but are they up to the task? China would have to stop building coal plants and shutter the dirty ones, and the US will need to take on Koch and Exxon, including the “less emitting transition fuel”, natural gas.

    Serious vested interests will quietly oppose anything significant, through bribery and obfuscation. The negotiators, including Obama snd Kerry, will show us what kind of men they are.

    Our first clue will be whether there is a mutually agreed upon carbon tax, starting at $25 a ton and going up from there. Obama would have to reverse course. If he doesn’t, this is just talk, leaving anything meaningful to his successor.

    • Ed Leaver says:

      Google “China Carbon Tax”. Find things like China and Australia collaborate on carbon and China Carbon Tax May Spur U.S. Climate Debate, CMIA Says. Yes, China has plans for some 363 new coal-fired power plants, nearly one third the world’s proposed total new construction. Game over, if they (we) can find the water to cool them.

    • Sasparilla says:

      Frankly seeing that statement was little shocking (in a good way), from the standpoint of our administration being a part of it (especially considering the very strong language in the statement…I’d guess it’d be the Chinese pushing this, considering our XL, water down or kill EPA regs, freak of nature, no carbon tax administration).

      A possible good angle here is if there is a country that is top down, its China and if its leaders decide they want to tackle pollution and climate change, they can make it happen (and their industry will salute and line up for the most part).

      I’d love to see this go further…nice little hopeful nugget in this otherwise business as usual climate sky… What a great great story it’d be, if the Communist Chinese end up enabling us to save our collective capitalist bacon on climate change (true long shot, but nice to see).

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        China has a Government that rules, and policy is contrived to earn the Mandate of Heaven (it is dressed up at times in pseudo-Marxist jargon as well)which is a millennial Chinese concept. In Western capitalist states, in contrast, politicians are servants of the rich, who dictate policy. Moreover, ascent in the Chinese system is principally on merit, and a little guanxi is thrown in to leaven the rise. Western politicians are mostly PR confections, programmed to spout that which is deemed ‘popular’ and most efficacious at garnering votes. If this means denying science, spreading racist and xenophobic fear and hatred and bribing the voters, well and good, so long as it delivers power. Consequently Western politicians are generally expedient, opportunistic and unprincipled. Moreover, once policy is set in China, it is pursued until proven, or not, or superseded by better policy. There is no opposition spreading rumours, falsehoods and disinformation designed to sabotage policy for crass political advantage. If you want to see a text-book case of the destructiveness of unprincipled oppositionalism by a hard Right MSM and their political allies, just study Australia since 2007.

  3. prokaryotes says:

    Alaska lawmakers slash oil taxes, hope to spur output

    “We are signaling to the world that Alaska is back, ready to compete, and ready to supply more energy once again,” Parnell, who introduced the bill, said in a statement.

    The tax change was promoted by the three major North Slope oil producers, ConocoPhillips, BP Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. The companies argued that Alaska’s current tax system is punitive and makes the state less attractive than other regions, such as North Dakota and Alberta.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-alaska-oiltaxes-idUSBRE93E06J20130415

  4. prokaryotes says:

    Climate Change Didn’t Cause the Big Drought http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/15/climate-change-didnt-cause-the-big-drought/

    Cites CP, based on the NOAA report. I did not followed the entire story but it appears to me that nobody was suggesting at all that the Great Drought was caused by climate change, it is just an example – and this time the drought is a result of AGW.

    • prokaryotes says:

      Ok, i confused the “Big drought with the Great drought”, duhhh. So i too look forward to read more expertise why the single assessment from Hoerling is invalid.

  5. Robert in New Orleans says:

    OMG! “Aggrieved Oil Companies” Oh, the horror, the shame and the embarrassment!!!!

    Big Oil losing face in Alaska, I am shocked.

    If they move, how exactly are planning to bring the oil and the associated infrastructure with them?

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Opening a conference in Dublin on tackling global hunger and climate change, President Higgins said the hungry and poor of the world are “twice smitten” when political interests get in the way of elimination or relief of hunger and nutrition
    “The source of this hunger is not a lack of food, but the moral affront of poverty, created and sustained by gross inequalities across the world,” he said. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/higgins-says-hunger-greatest-ethical-challenge-facing-world-1.1360642

    So this story is today in the news, but imho i think it is flawed in two ways. First the global pop is already on decline (a trend which will be further exacerbated by CC) and secondly because once the “Poor” in the so called “developed” world is hungry, the elite will fall too.

  7. Sasparilla says:

    Wind turbine prices down by a third in the US

    http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2013/04/Wind-turbine-prices-down-by-a-third-in-the-US.html

    “The statistics show a drop in price of about a third in terms of dollars per megawatt of generation capacity since late 2008, according to a US government analysis using data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research group.” I love it when a plans comes together…

  8. SasparillaFizz says:

    America’s First Offshore Wind Farm Closer To Reality After Receiving $2 Billion From Japanese Bank

    http://singularityhub.com/2013/04/15/americas-first-offshore-wind-farm-closer-to-reality-after-receiving-2-billion-from-japanese-bank/

    Nice article on it, construction expected to begin by the end of the year now that initial financing is in place.

  9. fj says:

    By far the fastest and most cost effective response to accelerating climate change will happen in the developing world estimated to cost 5.7 $ trillion per year by World Resources.

    Such a game change would be the most important advance in history.

    • fj says:

      With more than three quarter billion extreme poor, serious partnering with China would be the fastest way to start achieving this.

  10. Spike says:

    Drought causing problems in parts of China reported here:

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-04/14/c_132308025.htm

  11. prokaryotes says:

    It started on UK news site The Register, which has been known to turn climate facts upside down. Lewis Page, the author http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/15/western_antarctic_melting_nothing_unusual/

  12. SasparillaFizz says:

    Yes they are a bunch of stinkers there always trying to point out how everything is okay and we don’t need to do anything…