Thursday, December 11, 2008

Poznan Update

Hello all, it’s Sara B here in Poznan as well. Today is the beginning of the high-level discussions among the heads of state and ministers here in Poland. These sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) conclude several weeks of meetings on technical aspects of the agreements that are taking shape in preparation for the negotiations next year in Copenhagen.

It is very clear that everyone is watching the United States to see how we move forward with climate change under the next administration … words like anticipation and expectation come to mind. On the US side, it seems that one likely scenario is that Congress may pass some type of “placeholder” legislation in the next year to outline GHG emission reduction targets and the structure of a cap-and-trade program. This (theoretically) would create the structure needed in order for the US to participate in developing the next international treaty on climate change in Copenhagen while leaving room for future iterations and improvements.

On the ag side, there has been some limited discussion here in Poznan on agriculture and soil carbon sequestration. Many expect that agriculture will increasingly enter the negotiations as ag producer countries such as the United States and Brazil become more involved in crafting the solution to climate change. There has also been a good deal of discussion on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), a proposal to slow tropical deforestation in developing countries (with implications for land use change and carbon sequestration).

That's all for now, thanks for staying tuned with us here in Poland!

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