Good Morning America

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Britain is to be at the forefront of a new initiative to persuade America to stand up and admit that climate change is a serious issue.

In a major change of strategy, the move will ignore the Bush administration and appeal directly to individual US states to join the EU carbon trading scheme.

Environment minister David Miliband will lead a group of MPs hoping to persuade California, and as many as nine other states, to join the EU carbon trading scheme.

New Yorker governor George Pataki has joined California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger in indicating that his state might well be interested in joining the scheme.

The British politicians will also take advantage of the new Democrat-dominated Senate to push the climate change message home on Capitol Hill.

Stephen Byers MP spoke about the planned attempt to get US states to join the EU scheme: “Some of the proposals will bypass the White House, others will engage with sympathetic Republicans,” he said. “We are seeking to put pressure on President Bush.”

David Miliband also commented, “The science is moving faster than the politics now. In 2007 we need significant progress at the international level. The UK is showing continued leadership with its Climate Change Bill, the EU is showing leadership and we hope other legislatures across the world will take similar action.”

Thanks to inel for highlighting this news over at ‘Global Cool’.

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11 Responses to Good Morning America

  1. jeremiasx says:

    Sounds like you’re not a fan of global warming science…

  2. matt says:

    Thanks to another American blogger, who lives here in the UK, I’ve now been introduced to the bitter struggle in the US between climate change ‘deniers’ & ‘activists’ trying to get the CC message across. What a bizarre waste of energy! Keep it your side of the pond ‘dude’.

  3. Dave On Fire says:

    Bypassing central governments in this way is a great idea! Small-minded national interests (and vested interests) can make a government much slower to accept and adept than their electorates. Trying to cajole the White House into facing up to climate change could take decades, but engaging the states individually already looks promising.

    By the way Matt, there are sadly plenty of CC deniers in Europe, too. It is simply far more convenient to pretend that nothing is happening.

  4. earthpal says:

    Love the Global Cool website.

    Yes, Dave is right about the deniers. There are plenty of denialists this side of the pond too. But I’m not quite sure if they are actually in denial or as Dave says, just turning a blind eye because then they don’t have to change their eco-behaviour.

    I have confidence in David Miliband and the initiative above has my support. Can’t say the same for Gordon Brown and his abysmal CC pledges in his pre-budget report back in December.

  5. matt says:

    Hi Dave & earthpal

    Yes, plenty of deniers everywhere! I was particularly refering to the overt antagonism going on between bloggers state side.

    It is a good idea to deal directly with the states. Ken Livingston (London) & others are also involved in various intiatives with many US cities. So, there are other ways. And now that many committees in the Congress are headed up by Democrats even more doors are opening.

  6. Dave On Fire says:

    You’ve got me thinking now. A lot of the proposed schemes to deal with Climate Change – especially the market-driven ones – can only really be applied to countries of a similar level of development, and the political will for effective and equitable global solutions is still a long way off.

    But I wonder… the differences between cities are perhaps not as pronounced as those between countries. Manchester and Bangalore surely have more in common than Britain and India do in general. I wonder if local governments from across the world’s economic and political divides could network effectively in the same way?

  7. matt says:

    You’ve got me thinking now too. I believe for inter – city relationships to work on policy areas such as dealing with CC (egs. sharing traffic/transport policy ideas or, effecting combined procurement buying power towards environmentally sound purchasing like Ken et al are looking at), that each city needs a mayor or govenor running city hall with a fair amount of power.

    How many southern cities have this I don’t know but, I do know that reforms in Indonesia mean that urban citizens get to vote for a governor in their cities this summer. Worth looking into further.

  8. Dave On Fire says:

    That’s cool. But I know it’s already the case in many large developing countries. India is even more federal than the U.S., and some Latin American cities have done astoundingly well out of self-government. The best example is probably Curitiba in Brazil, whose innovative reforms have brought it from poverty and squalor to a standard of living higher than many European cities.

    Elected mayors/governors are sorely lacking here in the UK though. Given the success of the London Mayor’s office, why has this model not been reproduced in Manchester, Brum, etc.?

  9. matt says:

    Interesting about Curitiba.

    Good question regards why there aren’t more mayors in UK cities. Is it this current government’s obsession with central control? Or can this government at least be credited for starting the ball rolling with allowing a London mayor & devolved powers for Wales & Scotland?

  10. Dave On Fire says:

    They did start devolution, in London and in the home nations. It’s possibly the Blair government’s one incontrovertible success, but it’s perhaps been more successful than they ever wanted it to be. Am I the only provincial who now wants a bit of what London’s getting?

  11. matt says:

    I feel an ‘On Fire’ campaign coming into play 😉

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