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Renewable Energy is Focus of U.S. Congressional Delegation Visit to India

Climate change and renewable energy have been a focus of a senior U.S. Congressional visit to India led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to the Press Trust of India and other Indian news reports.

Speaker Pelosi said, "Our delegation was very encouraged to hear that the leaders in the Indian business community believe industry can be in the forefront of climate change and energy efficiency initiatives, rather than stand as a barrier to change."

The Dismal (Climate) Science: On Marty Weitzman, Fat Tails, And How Economists Could Better Help Us to Overcome Global Warming

The World Bank recently invited Harvard economist Marty Weitzman to present his latest work on catastrophic climate change, with federal judge Richard Posner, millionaire math whiz John Seo, and Nobel Laureate Tom Schelling providing comment. Since Weitzman's paper is an important insight into the uncertainty of economic analysis of global warming, it deserves some investigation -- as does the appropriate role and necessary modesty of economists with respect to climate change more generally.

CARMA Watch: Red Light for The World Bank Group on Coal-Fired Power

This post originally appeared on the "Carbon Monitoring for Action" blog.
CGD's CARMA website (Carbon Monitoring for Action) uses information on planned construction of power plants to project increases in carbon emissions during the coming decade. In India, for example, CARMA projects that new facilities will increase CO2 emissions by about 150%, and much of the increase will come from enormous coal-fired plants. CARMA's ranking of Indian power plants on their future emissions shows that Tata Power Corporation's planned Mundra plant in Gujarat will rank third nationally, with projected annual CO2 emissions of 27.8 million tons when it is fully operational. Mundra will be bigger than Georgia's Scherer plant, the largest emitter in the US, which annually spews about 25 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Bali: Disaster Loomed and Everyone Blinked. Now Let's Get Serious, Fast

The White House finally blinked in the final hours of the UN's Bali Conference on Climate Change. The catalyst may have been the unprecedented boos and hisses directed at the US delegation from the floor, or the peremptory challenge from Kevin Conrad, Papua New Guinea's representative: "If for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please, get out of the way." Confronted by the prospect of pariah status, the US dropped its categorical resistance to emissions reduction targets and permitted their inclusion in a footnote to the final agreement.

Improving Climate Projections and Adaptation: A Hot Research Topic in Bali

Besides the official negotiations and speeches, the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali that I've been attending also provided opportunities for sharing new research and ideas. Two subjects dominated the schedule: adaptation and forestry (no doubt reflecting the preferences of our Indonesian hosts). Here I briefly discuss the use of climate models in adaptation -- a critical issue for those in the development community. [In a separate post to follow I'll note some new efforts in the measurement and monitoring of forest carbon.]

Down and Out in Bali: U.N. Climate Change Negotiations So Far Lack Urgency

I'm in one of the world's most beautiful places, and I am seriously bummed. Few people had much in the way of expectations for the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali -- its purpose is to simply set the terms for negotiations over the next two years -- but I had retained a modicum of hope. I was especially hopeful that, in light of the IPCC's synthesis report and mountains of observational evidence of rapidly changing climate, we would see a new sense of urgency in the talks.

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