Thursday, 7 August 2008

The Lieberman-Warner Impact

There was an interesting article in Carbon Finance recently about the impact of the Lieberman-Warner bill. This is the greenhouse gas emissions legislation that was in the US Senate in June but was defeated, as the article points out, by procedural actions with little real debate.

But it did set the tone for legislation which is expected to get through next year and highlights of the bill included:

- Targets would come into force in 2012, with an initial cap of 4% below 2005, going down to 19% below by 2020 and 71% below by 2050. This makes the short-term goals (2020) on par with the EU (but behind the UK) whilst the 2050 target is ahead of the EU.

- The individual states could also have their own programmes, which could mean conflicting (or duplicating) regulations

- International offsets would be a compliance option.

There have also apparently been new bills since Lieberman-Warner, including one calling for 80-85% reductions on 1990 levels by 2050.

The presidential candidates are expected to get increasingly involved, since one of them will have centre stage next year, and, with a larger Democratic majority expected, emissions targets are likely to be more ambitious as time passes, economy permitting.

The article was written by consultancy ICF International - read it here.

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