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Transparent Goals

12/17/09

Transparency becomes the catch phrase of market-based advocates in the Copenhagen negotiations.  Today, key members of the House of Representatives used the stage of COP-15 to address issues of climate change.  In a press conference from Copenhagen, Representatives Markey, Waxman, Pelosi, Schumer, and others spoke about some of the issues they consider most important going forward in Copenhagen.

Representative Ed Markey, a co-author of the Waxman-Markey climate legislation currently going through Congress spoke about issues relating to cap-and-trade legislation such as WM.  When asked by a reporter from Forbes about the need for systems in other countries to be transparent, he focused on the need for China to accept transparency standards, calling them “essential.” He suggested that bilateral talks could help to refine the details but that transparency in China’s system is a fundamental goal that needs to be articulated in an agreement resulting from COP-15.  He was joined by others on the panel who stressed their desire for systems to be as open and verifiable as possible.

Transparency is essential to ensuring that reductions in emissions cannot simply be bought or fabricated by those who have the money to game the system.   It could be the lynchpin issue for an eventual global deal.  It is to this effort that Americans need to be paying the most attention because, at the end of the proverbial day and actual conference, no matter how ambitious the targets seem, it is the practicability of implementation methods that translates to actual reductions.

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