by Judith Curry
Happy New Year, everyone! What do you think 2012 portends in the debate on climate change and energy?
Climate Change Insights has a post entitled “Watch What Happens: Climate & Energy Questions for 2012.” A summary:
President Obama came into his first term in office focused on 3 key energy and climate issues: 1) cap & trade legislation, 2) offshore oil production and 3) scaled-up support for nuclear energy. 2011 saw all those issues depart as centerpieces of U.S. policy direction. 2012 will bring a set of high stakes questions that will set the direction.
1) Presidential Politics and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Backwards or Forwards?
As the November Presidential election inches closer, the already sensitive positioning on how far and fast the EPA should go will only increase leaving the pace of both Clean Air Act and shale gas regulatory issues in an uncertain space.
2) Keystone XL: What to Do?
Whether the US need for secure sources of oil delivered in a manner balanced with environmental concerns can be accommodated in a politically charged year remains to be seen.
3) California Cap & Trade: Ready or Not?
Success or failure in the California market will influence how federal policy might address climate change in the coming years.
4) Solar Drama for Obama?
Market analysts will be closely watching how the U.S. sector can overcome these challenges (Solyndra, expiration of federal incentive, trade war with China over manufacturing standards) in 2012.
5) Showdown in the Friendly Skies?
Airlines will be charged for carbon emissions created by flights to and from 27 EU countries starting January 1.
John Parnell has an article at RTCC entitled “Why 2012 is a landmark for climate change.” Excerpts:
The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will come to an end allowing those that took part to take stock of their experiences and those looking to make commitments in the future to learn lessons too.
At the end of June Brazil will host the Rio+20 conference in sustainable development. With the world’s major economies involved in elections and leadership struggles, many believe a ground-breaking deal is unlikely.
COP18, in oil- and gas-rich Qatar, will be met with predictable scepticism.
Cautious optimism in 2012
The rate of increase in the adoption of renewable energy is hugely encouraging. Falling costs in solar photovoltaic and offshore wind generation are making their mark.
Germany, France and Spain are well on the way to exceeding their 2020 renewable energy targets and the EU as a whole should meet its collective target with relative ease.
There is now speculation that the EU will set new objectives of 30% for renewable energy consumption by 2030. The Danish government have made it clear they intend to use their six month presidency of the EU Council to incentivise green growth and implement new Energy Efficiency standards.
The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates that private sector investment of £2.5 billion in renewable energy projects in the 2010-2011 financial year could create as many as 12,000 new jobs.
So, whither the climate blogosphere? Any predictions?
In pondering “whither Climate Etc. for 2012”, I was struck by a recent post by Andy Revkin:
Finally, whether visitors like it or not, I’m a self-described selfish blogger. I use my posts to learn, to test my preconceptions, to be inspired by fresh views I would never encounter without the marvel of Web connectedness.
You’ve stumbled on the reality that Dot Earth is journalism, revealed. As with science, journalism is a journey. The old 20th century notion of the page-one story or nightly news report definitively distilling the world into sound bites is history. My blog provides an over-the-shoulder view of my inquiry on tough issues.
Climate Etc. continues to evolve, along the lines of my own evolving interests (which are influenced by my engagement here), the interests of the denizens, not to mention stories du jour.
I have a backlog of 50 posts that have been started by not finished, some of which only have a few web links for reference.
Let me know your preferences and suggestions for topics for 2012. Guest posts are welcome!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!