Facilitating State, Local Government Conversation With the Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change

Posted by Reta Jo Lewis
February 5, 2011
Wind Turbines in Vermont

About the Author: Reta Jo Lewis serves as Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs.

On Monday, January 31, I co-hosted with the office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change (S/SECC) and the Bureau of Oceans and International Environment and Scientific Affairs (OES) over fifty energy, environment and climate officers, as well as representatives of their professional organizations, for a post-Cancun conversation about climate change. Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change Dr. Jonathan Pershing served as the distinguished speaker. Representatives from state and city governments from California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin joined us in the dialogue. Organizations of elected state and local officials -- such as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), the National League of Cities (NLC), and Sister Cities International (SCI) -- engaged in the conversation. Policy specialists from the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC), and the U.S. Green Building Council (GBC) shared global and local perspectives. Eric Maltzer from OES shared information about the U.S.-China EcoPartnerships program.

Doug Scott, Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency asked how state and local governments can more effectively communicate regional issues and help the U.S. climate change team directly. Dr. Pershing recognized many regional initiatives for promoting regional renewable energy resources in the northeastern, western and mid-western states. Dr. Pershing lauded the leadership of Governor Christine Gregoire, Governor of the State of Washington and Chairman of the National Governors' Association, for supporting the Center for Best Practices' green programs. Notably, Dr. Pershing mentioned the Center's fifteen clean energy technology recommendations. Director Tom Peterson of CCS shared CCS' state-by-state analysis, which shows that approximately 15% reductions in emissions are feasible while achieving economic gains. Dr. Pershing surmised that promotion of the renewable energy economy can be a boost for the creation of new jobs in the near-term and the medium-term, echoing a theme of the recent State of the Union address by the President of the United States.

Dr. Pershing and I will continue to engage state and local elected officials as the administration prepares for the upcoming climate change summit in Durban, South Africa in 2011 and beyond.

Our next Smart Partnership Dialogue, "Expanding Relationships in China for State and Local Governments," will be Thursday, February 10 at the Department of State from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a reception to follow at the Chinese Embassy from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Related Content:Strengthening U.S.-China Sub-national Cooperation -- The U.S.-China Governors Forum

Comments

Comments

palgye
|
South Korea
February 5, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Welfare? Republic of Korea's laws and tax system is well maintained compared to the national level, I think. Of course, in reality, an issue properly, failing to reflect adequately, the problem of assistance to socially deviant, but rather the welfare system and current law, if properly used properly, welfare problems and labor strife on the reality of a painting as a significant social part is thought to resolve. I'm jealous of the United States by the IRS.

The country, most people are wage earners who have the authority or a professional business owners complain they have enough to pay taxes, President chwiimjeon 100 million building owned by the MB, but do not think that tax issues are not clear.

South Korea rather than a defined network and education, motivated by kinship, law and institutions is ignored, and I think a return to the country. Outside, it looks good, plastic surgery, I keep the inside ........

My mother went into brain surgery once again got in the U.S. .....For health care reform bill has been passed to quickly.

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