Lima climate change talks best chance for a generation, say upbeat diplomats
Diplomats and longtime observers say there is rising optimism that negotiators at the climate talks in Lima, Peru will be able to secure a deal committing all countries to take action. Momentum and optimism mostly stems from the US-China agreement to reduce emissions that was signed in November. There is hope that other large emitters such as India, Brazil, Russia, and Japan will now come forward with their own reduction goals for 2020. The two weeks of talks in Peru are intended to deliver a draft text to be adopted in Paris next year that will commit countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions without compromising the economic development of poor countries. By Suzanne Goldenberg on TheGuardian.com.
Leaked: The Oil Lobby’s Conspiracy to Kill Off California’s Climate Law
Powerpoint slides created by the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), one of the most powerful oil and gas lobbies in the U.S., were leaked. Slides detail a plan to throttle AB 32 (also known as the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) and outline steps to thwart low-carbon fuel standards (known as LCFS) in California, Oregon, and Washington State. The deck clearly describes a strategy to confuse people about an important law that has already passed and to prevent the enforcement of regulations that represent an effort—however imperfect—to reduce the risk of catastrophic effects from global warming. Northwest Public Radio appears to have been the first to confirm the authenticity of the deck, which Bloomberg Businessweek did as well, with WSPA spokesman Tupper Hull. By Brad Wieners on Bloomberg.com.
Obama to Introduce Sweeping New Controls on Ozone Emissions
Under the powers granted to the EPA under the Clean Air Act, the Obama administration is expected to release regulation of smog from power plants. The proposed regulation would lower the current threshold for ozone pollution from 75 parts per billion to a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion, according to people familiar with the plan. That range is less stringent than the standard of 60 parts per billion sought by environmental groups, but the E.P.A. proposal would also seek public comment on a 60 parts-per-billion plan, keeping open the possibility that the final rule could be stricter. The administration is expected to make two more rules to reduce emissions from coal under the Clean Air Act, but the Republican-majority Congress, to be led by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has vowed to block or overturn the entire group of rules. By Coral Davenport for NY Times.