courtesy Hammerfest Strøm
U.S. political leaders, captains of business and the world’s carbon elite have met in Washington, D.C. to discuss "a domestic path to low-carbon economic recovery”.
Political leaders on hand — including Tony Blair, John McCain and Lord Nicholas Stern— tried stressing U.S. climate action despite economic hard times. Switching from the role of Middle East envoy, Blair told the symposium that world leaders understood low-carbon ideas could effectively curb climate change.
Creating jobs while weaning America off fossil fuel was the bigger theme, however. Even the governor of car-industry-heavy Michigan sought “comprehensive climate change legislation” to link people’s livelihoods to a new, greener energy policy.
"(Legislation is) critical for a state like Michigan that has lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs," said Governor Jennifer M. Granholm.
Then industry weighed in. Jim Rogers of Duke Energy said President Obama’s budget contained measures that would strip states known for electricity by coal or gas of investment. He, too, supported lawmaking on a new energy-climate bill.
“I have long been a supporter of enacting climate legislation because it will take decades to slow, stop and reverse greenhouse gas emissions,” Rogers said.
Climate guru Lord Nicholas Stern, author of the influential "The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review" of 2006, said U.S. talent should take the lead.
"Low carbon growth is the only growth story, because high carbon growth would eventually choke itself off,” Stern said.
He said American agreement on a new direction would be viewed well by a world "moving toward" a United Nations climate deal at an important conference this December in Copenhagen.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's own climate envoy, Todd Stern, was on hand to say he had met with international policymakers on “the importance of global collaboration” ahead of Copenhagen.
The event was organized by Washington “think tanks” the Center for Global Development, the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the World Resources Institute together with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at Stern’s London School of Economics and Political Science.