Terminator 5: A Glimpse of Hope (by Steve)

Over the past two days we attended side events organized by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).  So far the events have been great, with a focus on potential future legislation and sub-national governments and businesses.   It appears to us that business and a number of state agencies are a lot further ahead than the UN in thinking about and making climate change reforms.  One of the events focused on sub-national collaboration acting not only as a bridge between any UN agreement and actual implementation, but also as a leader in achieving real climate change action. 

An example of this is the formation of the Regional Group of 20 (R20), which Arnold Schwarzenenegger, Governor of California, announced on Tuesday at the Governors’ Summit.  This is a group of sub-national governments who plan to fast track legislation within their own jurisdictions to fight climate change.  The group will address strategies to mitigate current and future climate change through public-private partnerships, technology development and transfer, and financial measures. 

Mr. Cherif Rahmani, Minister of Environment, Algeria; head of the UNFCCC Africa group; and a member of the R20 spoke at one of the IETA events we attended about the R20, Algeria’s existing relationship with the government of Quebec and the need to develop more of these types of coalitions.   The event also highlighted a number of achievements already made on the sub-national level, like the California EPA, which has implemented real mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gases in state energy production.

A common thread in many of our blog posts has been the potential for more local and sub-national action. From business school students’ perspective this is a very encouraging development because it is an area that most of us will be able to engage in and have an immediate impact on in the short term.   For those of us in the Tuck Delegation who have been disappointed by the gross inefficiencies demonstrated by the UNFCCC at Copenhagen this is especially encouraging.   Who knew it would be none other than “The Terminator” who gave us this glimpse of hope!

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