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Alden Meyer

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About the author: Alden Meyer has more than 30 years of experience on energy and climate policy. He is internationally recognized expert on U.S. and international climate policy. He also works extensively on renewable energy and electricity policy at the federal and state level. See Alden's full bio.

President Obama’s State of the Union: What to Expect, and What to Hope For

In his State of the Union speech next Tuesday night, President Obama is expected to focus heavily on challenges like economic inequality and international terrorism. But he is also likely to address at least some of the issues that UCS works on directly, such as climate change and energy. Here’s a quick take on what he may say on these issues, as well as some things he should say, but probably won’t. Read More

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Confronting the Elephant in the Room: Differentiation of Obligations in the Paris Climate Agreement

Coming into the Lima climate negotiations on December 1st, the US-China joint climate announcement, the European Union’s political agreement on its 2030 emissions reduction target, and the successful capitalization of the Green Climate Fund had all combined to create a sense of momentum and a positive mood.

But these developments had done little to resolve the sharp disagreements about which countries are responsible for taking which kinds of action on climate change, and these different perspectives on the issue of differentiation nearly derailed the final decision in Lima. As it was, the Lima decision on the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) was a disappointing, minimal outcome. If these conflicts over the issue of differentiation are not resolved, or at least significantly narrowed, they could threaten the prospects for agreement in Paris next December on a new, comprehensive post-2020 climate regime. Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming  

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The Climate Summit in New York: Not an End, but a Beginning

On September 23 all eyes will be on New York City as more than 160 heads of state and other senior government officials come to the United Nations for a summit focused on a single issue: the need for effective action to confront the mounting threat of climate change.

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President Obama’s State of the Union: the Good, the Not-So-Good, and the Missing

President Obama covered a wide range of issues in last night’s State of the Union speech, with much of it focused on the need for more aggressive action on issues like economic inequality, unemployment, education and training. But he also addressed several of the issues that UCS works on directly, especially climate change and energy. Read More

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UN General Assembly: Time for Leaders to Deliver Climate Ambition

with Kelly Rigg, executive director, Global Call for Climate Action

Shortly after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously scolded President George H. W. Bush: “This is no time to go wobbly, George.” Read More

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Climate Debate Stuck in a Washington Rut

The climate debate in Washington is stuck in a rut. Last week, we saw politicians playing another round of the climate change blame game. This time the topic was tornadoes. But connections between extreme weather and climate change are a scientific question, not a political one. Read More

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AAAS Past Presidents Support Gina McCarthy for EPA Administrator

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the nation’s largest scientific association, and publisher of the journal Science. Its president is always a distinguished scientist, elected each year by its nearly 120,000 members. On Monday, 6 of AAAS’s 7 most recent past presidents sent a letter to Senate Environment and Public Works Chair Barbara Boxer and Ranking Member David Vitter, supporting President’s Obama’s nomination of Gina McCarthy as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming  

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Obama’s Climate Legacy

Since his re-election, President Obama has made it clear that he sees action on climate change as a major piece of unfinished business from his first term. In his election night victory speech, he said he wants “our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt; that isn’t weakened by inequality; that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.” Read More

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It’s Obama—Now What?

After months of speeches and debates, and billions of dollars of campaign ads, the elections are over and President Obama has won a second term in office. Now comes the hard part: how to move forward in a polarized political environment where the two major parties don’t agree on the overall role of government, on most policies, and all too often, not even on the facts. Read More

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No Doubt About It: Climate Denialists Have Undermined Public Understanding of the Science

Last night, FRONTLINE premiered its new documentary, Climate of Doubt, a chilling chronicle of the decade-long-plus campaign to confuse the public and policy-makers about the reality of human-induced climate change. As the PBS press release puts it, “Climate of Doubt describes the individuals and groups behind an organized effort to attack science by undermining scientists, and to unseat politicians who say they believe there is current climate change caused by human activity.’ Read More

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