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FEATURE

The Coming Climate Election





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State Capitol
On November 2, America’s attention will focus on the mid-term elections for Congress. But those of us who believe government must act against global climate change had better pay attention to another set of races: the election of 37 governors and scores of state legislators.

In the years ahead, the people we elect to our 50 statehouses may be more important than the people we elect to Congress.

Consider the impact on international climate treaty negotiations. At the end of November, negotiators from more than 190 nations will gather for the 16th Conference of the Parties in Cancun to continue working on a global climate pact.

Few experts expect that a treaty will be signed in Cancun, but there’s hope the meeting will narrow the gaps nations have failed to bridge in the negotiations so far. One positive development would be a concrete, credible, verifiable plan by the United States to cut its greenhouse emissions.

The chief U.S. negotiator, Todd Stern, has just reaffirmed Obama’s goal to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. But with no climate bill from Congress again this year, U.S. negotiators reportedly are pondering how to show the United States will achieve the goal with “other available tools”. Continued...

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