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For those interested in the ongoing climate change debate, I urge you to look at the recently-released report (and the Roll Call op-ed) from the bipartisan Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests (full disclosure: I sat on this commission).
Development advocates hoping for an equitable as well as efficient global agreement on climate change ought to be deeply depressed about the results of a recent FT/Harris poll. What is depressing is the way the question was framed (and that does matter): “Do you agree that, since China is the biggest carbon emitter, it should cut its emissions the most?” In most G-7 countries including the U.S., more than 60 percent of respondents agreed.
In a surprise New York Times op-ed last weekend, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Kerry (D-MA) announced a joint initiative on climate change.
The proposal mixes the good (I am glad it finally spells out that only carbon capture and storage turns coal into “clean coal”) with the bad. Still, it is welcome news that the Senate may finally be able to “count to sixty” and pass some kind of legislation to reduce emissions.
One of the few bright spots in the climate negotiations was the news that the governance of climate funding has received some attention in the run-up to the Pittsburgh G-20. Much needs to be settled, but at least the issue is on the table.
Uri Dadush at the Carnegie Endowment provides an excellent reader-friendly summary of the agenda and issues the G-20 leaders will face in Pittsburgh this week. His fourth of four challenges is for the leaders to develop a long-term agenda – and a long-term agenda implies ipso facto a development agenda.
Narratives matter. Not just for creating and sustaining nationhood as Isaiah Berlin famously argued. They also matter critically in international negotiations. At the moment, India is not winning the battle of the narrative on climate change. And that's a worry.