The global community has a moral obligation to reduce its greenhouse gases. Climate change talks in Copenhagen are set to begin in slightly over 46 days. And yet the United States is far from passing any legislation that would truly curb our greenhouse gas emissions below the scientific recommendations of 25-40 percent of 1990 levels. The House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. This bill, also known as the Waxman-Markey bill, proposes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by only 17 percent of 2005 levels, or in other words: 4 percent of 1990 levels.
The Global Citizen
The United States has named three Strategic Objectives for Sudan:
- A definitive end to conflict, gross human rights abuses, and genocide in Darfur.
- Implementation of the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that results in a peaceful post-2011 Sudan, or an orderly path toward two separate and viable states at peace with each other.
- Ensure that Sudan does not provide a safe haven for international terrorists.
The genocide in Darfur has been ongoing for six years. It was initiated by the National Congress Party (NCP) and a government supported militia called the Janjaweed. The Darfur region in Western Sudan has been targeted causing at least 300,000 deaths, 2.7 displaced individuals, and 250,000 refugees. The severity of the violence in the region has lessened since 2005, but people still live in insecurity and the genocide is still occurring. Sudan is at a critical juncture where the right action could lead to stability and peace. The press release called for the U.S. to act with a sense of urgency and purpose in Sudan. A U.S. Department of State press release stated:
"Without an active peace process, a commitment to addressing accountability for crimes committed against civilians, a fully deployed, equipped, and performing United Nations (U.N.)-African Union (AU) peacekeeping force, and serious planning for regional recovery, the situation in Darfur will continue to fester, destabilizing the country and the region."
"We refuse to accept the argument that the United States cannot lead the world in addressing global climate change."
Today the International Criminal Court announced that the Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, would be looking into the recent events in Guinea. On September 28, 2009 , government soldiers opened fire on a group of 50,000 unarmed civilians gathering for a demonstration in Conakry, Guinea. At least 157 people were killed.
Ron Brownstein has an interesting article in The Atlantic (October 2009) that describes California's efforts to create sensible energy regulation and promote green technologies:
As the United States and the world attempt to make meaningful progress in addressing climate change and moving toward renewable energy, the ideas underlying California's energy regulatory system may be ever more important points of reference.
(Full disclosure: In 1976 and 1977, immediately after college, I worked as a staff economist for the California Energy Commission and witnessed the beginnings of the regulatory movement described here.)
Robert A. Enholm
Executive Vice President
GlobalSolutions.org applauds the formation of the American Engagement Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. The mission of the caucus will be "to bring together Members to sustain and advocate for U.S. engagement to tackle global challenges like terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease." The Caucus believes that, "our security, our economic future, and safeguarding the world's environment all depend on international cooperation. Working cooperatively with other nations and through the U.N. ensures that we do not have to carry all of the burden or take all of the risks for global security and progress." The Caucus Co-Chairs will be Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO) and Congressman Anh "Joseph" Cao (R-LA).
You can read the Dear Colleague letter that announced the Caucus by clicking this link.
To download the PDF version of the letter, CLICK HERE.
Congratulations, President Obama!
This morning's announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize is an honor and well-deserved.
The honor is, of course, an honor that American shares. And, while there are naysayers, the award is deserved for the new approach to global policy that President Obama has brought by creating, in the words of the Nobel Committee, the climate in which "Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play." The Nobel Committee specifically highlights the initiative he has taken to reach out to the Muslim world and to urge nuclear disarmament.
At GlobalSolutions.org, we work daily with issues of international diplomacy and global institutions, and we can confirm that President Obama's approach has changed the very nature of the discussions that are held and the possibilities that are sought. Consider the following:
North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons has been the cause of much tension throughout the international community for several years. After the country's withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003, it has repeatedly issued reports of successful nuclear tests. North Korea, now referred to as a "fully fledged nuclear power," has had world leaders at the edge of their seats. But now, according to a New York Times article, the country is expressing interest in rejoining the six-nation talk about its nuclear weapon programs.