July - December 2008

Transatlantic Climate Bridge Launched with Call to Action for More Cooperation
17 December 2008 – Germany.info
Designed to build partnerships between the US and Germany , German leaders now seek a transatlantic commitment on climate change and energy security, through the ‘ ' Transatlantic Climate Bridge ' Initiative.’ First brought to the United States on December 16, at the Ambassador’s Residence in Washington DC, this initiative comes on the heels of the EU agreement on the ‘climate package’ proposed earlier this month at the EU Summit and recently accepted at the European Council and European Parliament (a commitment by the EU's 27 member states for a 20 percent reduction in the EU's 1990 levels of CO emissions by the year 2020) . Following the panel discussion at the German Ambassador’s Residence, “a concrete first step was taken towards increased transatlantic climate cooperation, with a joint statement signed by Ambassador Klaus Scharioth, [Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources] L. Preston Bryant, Jr., and Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Patrick O. Gottschalk. The statement identified five promising areas of joint cooperation in climate and energy issues between stakeholders from Germany and the Commonwealth of Virginia, including emissions trading, community energy planning, and a ‘green jobs and clean products’ initiative.” During the event, Ambassador Scharioth proclaimed, “that by working together, Germans and Americans can be a powerful engine for trans-Atlantic and also global climate cooperation.” Indeed, optimism remains high on both sides of the Atlantic as supports look forward to, what they believe will be, the inauguration of an environmentally friendly 44th president of the United States on 20 January 2008.
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Finance, climate to boost 'EU-US cooperation
29 October 2008 – EurActiv.com
Tom Spencer, the executive director of the European Centre for Public Affairs, said that the current financial crisis and future cooperation on climate change will shape the trans-Atlantic relationship after the presidential election. Explaining that relations between the US and Europe have become too focused on "business and banking" and lack the "intimacy" of previous generation, he believes that they will improve under the next president. Calling climate change and energy "the key building blocks of power," Spencer called on the US to cooperate with global partners on finding a solution to climate change at the Copenhagen conference next year.
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"International Commission on Climate & Energy Security for 2009"
13 October 2008 - Material Handling Magazine
Hoping to build on the success of its Tokyo Forum this past June, the Global Legislators Organization, GLOBE, International has called for the creation of an International Commission on Climate & Energy Security. Senior legislators from the G8+5 countries will be joined by business leaders and experts in February in Washington . The goal is to work towards a "global political deal on a framework to tackle climate change." A leader of GLOBE International stated that he hopes recommendations of the Commission can be a tool at the Copenhagen G8 summit next December.
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"Conference on Transatlantic Climate Change and Cooperation"
26 September 2008 - Germany.info
A conference heralding a 'New Era in Transatlantic Climate and Energy Politics' opened in Berlin on Tuesday, September 30.  Hosted by Germany 's Foreign Minister, the symposium will address issues such as: Prospects of Transatlantic Climate Cooperation, The way forward: Building the Transatlantic Climate Bridge , and The Economic Case for Transatlantic Climate Cooperation. Representatives from US states, cities, academia, business and foundations are scheduled to "meet with German partners to share their experiences and discuss new prospects for transatlantic cooperation in the field of climate and energy policy."
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UN Climate Talks Commence in Ghana
21 August 2008 - WOW.gm Gambia News Community

The Ghanaian capital, Accra will play host to the latest round of United Nations Climate talks starting August 21, 2008 . For the next seven days, government representatives will gather in this African nation to discus steps toward a “new global treaty” that is expected to address issues such as: “emission reductions, mitigation mechanisms, finance flows, and technology transfer.” The Accra meeting is the latest in the “The Bali roadmap, agreed at UN climate talks last December, mandating these negotiations to conclude at the UN conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.” Negotiations stalled at the G8 summit this July, after representatives failed to bridge the gap between conditions acceptable to both developed and developing nations. Experts agree that an agreement regarding carbon emission reductions must be reached between emerging and mature economies if there is any hope for the ratification of a new global treaty in Copenhagen.
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G8 Nations Fail to Meet Climate Change Promises, Report Says
3 July 2008 - Deutsche Welle
A study was released criticizing G8 member countries of failing to reduce greenhouse carbon emissions which are linked to global climate change.  The study author Niklas Hoehne stated "None of the eight leading industrial nations have taken sufficient measures needed to be considered in line with the target to limit a worldwide increase in temperatures to 2 degrees centigrade".  Though there has been much discussion over reducing greenhouse carbon emissions, G8 members have been unable to formalize a specific agreement.  Regine Günther, head of climate change policy at the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) in Germany stated, "The world is at a crossroads where decisive action now could translate into economic success."  The study encouraged leaders to reach an agreement at next week's G8 leaders summit in Japan.
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