The United States is responsible for the relative global failure of the Kyoto Protocol. Global warming has since become an even more urgent global issue. From the UN Emissions GAP Report, “Should the global community not immediately embark on wide ranging actions to narrow the greenhouse gas emissions gap, the chance of remaining on the least-cost path to keeping global temperature rise below 2°C this century will swiftly diminish and open the door to a host of challenges.”
UNEP GAP Report: http://www.unep.org/emissionsgapreport2013/
At this moment in time the United States is in an ideal position to be a global leader and make efforts to reduce climate impact by utilizing its position it has as an educational hub to create clean technologies for global use. The US has already stated in the Submission of Elements document that it believes countries should take on “ambitious efforts.” The US also supports differences in emissions, but not a “bifurcated” approach. The US wants an easily negotiated, amended, and long lasting policy. Ideally, all countries will be willing to compromise, but it is also likely that there will be many disagreements. Since the United States’ economy and CO2 effect is so large, it is necessary that the United States and other large emitters reduce emissions regardless of other countries’ decisions.
Although the United States has plans that may suggest a new drive to become a world leader at addressing climate change there are many politicians in Congress who still do not believe that climate change is a cause worth supporting. This view is held consistently by the Republican Party and may suggest ulterior interests in the oil and gas industry. Therefore the document should be viewed among the wider political landscape including the percentage of Republicans in both the US House and Senate, as well as the effects that lobbying has on government decisions.
The United States should hold true to the promises made at the Framework Convention in order to keep on good terms internationally. The US representatives had said they wanted contributions to be more specific, and in a format. This would help clear communication and make countries’ contributions easily comparable. There were also demands for a quantitative report from all countries, except for developing nations. These schedules may include a mix on quantitative, and policies. The US proposed that we focus on REDD+, which would also account for the effect of trees and wildfires on CO2 emissions. The US also encouraged other countries to decide upon a marketing structure that will allow more effective implementation of the given goals and policies. This convention may show an accurate portrayal of the representatives of the United States, but perhaps not the entire United States Congress as a whole. It’s often the case that only the active environmental leaders would attend from the United States.
By studying documents like these that showcase the previous UN conventions and conferences of the parties (COP) as well as the United States public material on the environment, I hope to gain a better understanding of the United States position in a global context. I hope to also find the # of Senators and Representatives that support the President’s current international policies. I hope to determine the relative likelyhood of the United States backing out of COP21, and if it is likely, use this paper to challenge the parties that may have the most influence at changing the outcome.