Climate Change Conference Highlights Successful Government Models

By Salas, Beverly | Nation's Cities Weekly, May 15, 2000 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Climate Change Conference Highlights Successful Government Models

Salas, Beverly, Nation's Cities Weekly

Participants Slam U.S. Efforts as Inadequate

Is our climate changing? Is our weather getting weirder? Do human-induced carbon dioxide ([CO.sub.2]) emissions and other greenhouse gases--created when we burn fossil fuels--contribute to global warming?

These questions were not the subject of debate at a recent international conference sponsored by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change because virtually all present were from one side of the issue. Instead, participants gathered to share answers and "Innovative Policy Solutions to Global Climate Change."

Listening to presenters it seemed that global warming and climate change are a given because no one present represented an opposing viewpoint. A worldwide coalition of senior government and private sector representatives, as well as individuals from the non-profit and academic community, shared the types of policies and programs they have enacted that will reduce CO2 emissions.

Japan is taxing fossil fuels to promote teleworking. Denmark charges a penalty of $5 per ton of [CO.sub.2] over the targeted output. They see these policies as climate initiatives and simple waste management. Through out industry and government, policy is driven by ancillary policy objectives:

* Improved energy efficiency

* Reduced traffic congestion

* Improved air quality

* Liberalized energy markets

The European Union

According to John Gummer, chairman of Great Britain's Sancroft International, "Climate change is a political given in Europe. No serious political party is presenting to their electorate [the idea that] we should not take action."

Karsten Sach, from Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment, said much the same and added, "We, industrialized nations, must take responsibility and action. Climate change policy and a policy of efficient resource management are the same."

It was made clear, however, that Europeans feel they alone cannot solve the climate change problem. Gummer told the audience, "We need to develop an international strategy." Great Britain's Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, agreed, "We cannot tackle a world-wide problem without involving every country."

One of the ways they are tackling this problem said Peter Helmer Steen, Danish Ministry of Environment, is by "shifting taxes from labor to taxes on energy and resource users."

States Set Example

Some action is taking place here at home. New Jersey and Oregon created State Climate Change Plans. Robert C. Shinn, Jr., commissioner of New Jersey's Environmental Protection Department told the audience, "New Jersey has measured a six inch sea-level rise." Because of the increased storm surges and coastal flooding, New Jersey has had to evacuate and subsequently abandon several barrier islands.

New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman has gone on record supporting greenhouse gas policy action. "The fact is that climate change associated with greenhouse gases has an effect on every aspect of our daily lives. The environmental and economic benefits that stem from controlling greenhouse gases are enormous."

New Jersey has set an ambitious goal to not only curb emissions, but to reduce them. "It's a goal to which we are firmly committed," says Whitman.

Climate Friendly Local Governments

"Local governments must get in the game, because they are the game," said William F.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Climate Change Conference Highlights Successful Government Models


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?