Thu. February 22, 2018 Get Published  Get Alerts
HOME  |LOGIN
ABOUT | CONTACT US | SUPPORT US
IA-Forum Interview: Elliot Diringer

Comments(0)
International Affairs Forum: The G8 has often been called a toothless organization where the member nations simply make claims they cannot live up to. Last week they agreed on a "shared vision" to cut carbon emissions by "at least 50 per cent" by 2050. However, G8 leaders are widely believed to have sidestepped several issues, including the base year for pledges to slash greenhouse gases and specific midterm targets for cuts. How do you view the prospects for achieving this goal?

Mr. Elliot Diringer: Let me start by putting the role of the G8 in context. The real objective is to get fair, effective, and binding commitments from all the major economies. That’s what it will take to effectively address climate change. That agreement will have to be negotiated in the U.N. process under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The role of the G8 is to provide political impetus to that process by demonstrating leadership on the part of the world’s industrialized powers.

The recent summit fell well short of the leadership that’s needed. The G8’s endorsement of a long term goal was a step forward but was a far cry from a solution. What was really needed and what was missing was a clear declaration by the G8 countries of their willingness to assume binding midterm emission targets.


IA-Forum: In response to the G8 meeting, Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) said the world couldn’t afford to wait until the year 2050 to tackle the problem of climate change. Do you agree?

Mr. Diringer: Absolutely. I don’t think anyone is suggesting waiting until 2050 to address the problem. The point of a 2050 goal is to drive and frame the efforts that need to begin right now. A long term goal is helpful in that way but what is much more critical is getting agreement on the actions countries need to start taking right now. That requires a set of binding commitments in a new treaty.


IA-Forum: What steps does the US have to take to ensure such a goal and the Bali Road Map are successful?

Mr. Diringer: First and foremost, the U.S. needs to adopt and implement a mandatory national program to reduce its emissions. Second, it needs to commit internationally to reducing its emissions. Third, it needs to provide assistance to developing countries to help them reduce their emissions and to help the poorest and most vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

By doing all those things, the U.S. will demonstrate leadership and ensure a successful post-2012 agreement.


IA-Forum: How important is China in the fight against climate change? Can effective climate change policies occur on a global level if the China chooses not to participate?

Mr. Diringer: No, we can’t solve climate change without China. They are now, or will be very soon, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitting country, and their emissions are rising very rapidly. We need China to act at home and be a full partner in the global effort if we have any hope of substantially reducing global emissions.


IA-Forum: The United States has had some success with carbon emissions trading on a local level such as Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. How realistic is a nationwide cap and trade program in the near future?

Mr. Diringer: It’s very realistic. The momentum is moving that direction. The emergence of cap and trade systems at the state and regional level is actually putting greater pressure on Washington to establish an economy-wide cap and trade system because business would rather deal with one system than a patchwork of state and regional systems.

There are several major proposals before Congress right now to establish a national cap and trade system. That’s where the debate is headed. There’s a good chance we will see one enacted within the next couple of years


Elliot Diringer is Director of International Strategies at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Mr. Diringer was formerly Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States and Deputy Press Secretary. He also served as Senior Policy Advisor and as Director of Communications at the Council on Environmental Quality, where he helped develop major policy initiatives, led White House press and communications strategy on the environment, and was a member of U.S. delegations to climate change negotiations.

Comments in Chronological order (0 total comments)

Report Abuse
Quick Links Twitter Face Book Get Alerts Contact Us Enter Ia-Forum Student Award Competition
ANNOUNCEMENTS
THE WORLD'S DISCUSSING...
02/22/2018: Rebuilding Macroeconomic Theory More
02/22/2018: At emotionally raw White House 'listening session,' Trump reminded himself to say, 'I hear you' More
02/22/2018: Trump declares hoax Russian story hoaxed fake media into covering hoax rallies More
02/22/2018: Mueller files additional charges against former Trump campaign manager Manafort and aide Gates More
02/22/2018: Two USGS appointees resigned because Interior chief wanted to see new oil and gas data in advance More
02/22/2018: Pennsylvania has a completely new congressional map. Our new guide walks you through each district. More
02/22/2018: SCOTUS: When you sue abusive prison guards and win, the guards should get 25 percent of your award More
02/22/2018: Austin official says prison blocked him from abused asylum seeker because he might talk to media More
02/22/2018: Trump administration again proposes the full elimination of home heating assistance to the poor More
02/22/2018: 'We have not declared war on the press,' Sarah Sanders claims, while attacking the press More
02/22/2018: RNC is using a 'slush fund' to pay Trump's former bodyguard $15,000 per month for 'consulting' More
02/22/2018: Disney is using 'tax cut bonus' to try to force union workers to accept low pay More
02/22/2018: Open thread for night owls: ACLU report explores how 21st Century Americans can go to debtors prison More
02/21/2018: Trump takes a hatchet to Obama-era pro-LGBTQ health policies More
02/21/2018: HUGE: Democrats flip Kentucky seat Trump won by 49 points, making this the 37th red-to-blue pickup More
02/21/2018: Olympic biathletes: 'Our country needs to change' on guns More
02/21/2018: Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake will try to force a vote on a plan for Dreamers More
02/21/2018: Have dirt on Trump? For hush money, go to his lawyer ... or the National Enquirer More
02/21/2018: Trump gets back to sabotaging Obamacare More
02/21/2018: Missouri has been paying cash at secret rendezvous for the drug it uses to execute people More
02/21/2018: On the 123rd anniversary of his death, here's an essay by Frederick Douglass on Reconstruction More
02/21/2018: Man featured on dating website for Trump fans was convicted for 'indecent liberties with a minor' More
02/21/2018: Razing Arizona: Republican lawmakers assault independent redistricting commissionAGAIN More
02/21/2018: Open thread for night owls. MacGillis: How pessimism undermines push for stricter gun laws More
02/21/2018: The role of negative trade secrets in the Uber-Waymo settlement - The role of negative trade secrets in the Uber-Waymo settlement More
02/21/2018: Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday More
02/21/2018: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Another day in America, which is why the kids are angry More
02/21/2018: Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9AM ET! More
02/21/2018: Trump calls to strengthen background checks nine days after his budget cut funding for them More
02/21/2018: Morning Digest: Pennsylvania's new congressional map scrambles the playing field in many races More
02/21/2018: Cartoon: Broken child, grown man More
02/21/2018: Marco Rubio is being called out for having it both ways on guns, and he doesn't appreciate that More
02/21/2018: As FEMA ends its temporary housing program, displaced Puerto Rican families face homelessness More
02/21/2018: Are Europes digital companies paying their fair share? - Agency fees explained | In 60 seconds - AEI More
02/21/2018: Trade Talks Episode 24: The Trump Administration Views Trade as National Security Threat More
02/21/2018: Not just Parkland: Students rise up against gun violence More
02/21/2018: Congressman representing district with Columbine and Aurora nearly boo'd out of town hall over guns More
02/21/2018: A generation of Parkland students is coming for Republican lawmakers More
02/21/2018: Trump keeps tweeting, keeps reminding us how deep Mitch McConnell is in the Russia election hacking More
02/21/2018: Texas school district threatens suspension if students protest to prevent the next mass shooting More
02/21/2018: Man who quit job over ICE thought about his own family: 'I couldnt comprehend us being separated' More
02/21/2018: Immigrant teen credited with saving lives of at least 20 of his fellow Parkland students More
02/21/2018: Pennsylvania Republicans, utterly rejecting democracy, want to impeach judges who ordered new maps More
02/21/2018: Florida House: Porn is a public health risk, assault weapons are not More
02/21/2018: This isn't just a fight between the U.S. and Russiaand what's at stake can't be overstated More
02/21/2018: That time when the GOP was on the wrong side of every movement for freedom in the country More
02/21/2018: Starkville, Mississippi aldermen block residents from holding an LGBTQ pride parade. Buckle up. More
02/21/2018: Florida Republicans really don't want to face students fighting for their lives More
02/21/2018: DACA recipients are educators, nurses and first respondersand they need the DREAM Act now More
02/21/2018: Democrats, you have another shot at the Dream Act. Don't blink this time More
More...
About | Contact Us | Support Us | Terms and Conditions

All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2002 - 2018