COP-15: Climate Change Action Important Across All Levels

Posted by Susan Elbow
December 16, 2009

Watch events live from the U.S. Center in Copenhagen. Follow the U.S. Center on YouTube and Flickr.About the Author: Susan Elbow serves at the U.S. Mission to the European Union. She is currently on assignment at the U.S. Center in Copenhagen."Hi, this is Susan Elbow from the U.S. Center at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen. Today, I am back in the main meeting room of the Center.

One of the things that struck me throughout all of the many presentations that I've heard is the number of levels on which climate change is being addressed. So this morning we had a panel discussion right here with the Commissioner of Environmental Affairs from the State of Maine and the head of the Air Resources Board in the State of California. Both of them stressed how many actions are being taken in the United States on the local, state and regional levels to reduce carbon emissions, and these actions have been going on for years. Commissioner Littell said that 34 states at this point have climate action plans which combined together would provide half of the 17% reduction of emissions by 2020 that President Obama has announced.

On the other end of the spectrum we had as a speaker -- later this morning -- the White House science advisor, Dr. John Holdren. He gave one of the most compelling and informative presentations I have ever seen on what we know about climate science right now and what we can do about it. He stressed that we are already dealing with the effects of climate change in the United States and that the cost of action is far less than the cost of inaction.

At this point in the negotiations, many ministers have arrived and even some Heads of State. With only two days to go the pressure is mounting, so please check in with me again tomorrow as I bring you another update from the U.S. Center at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen."

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