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tv   Jonathan Pershing Discusses Climate Policy  CSPAN  October 25, 2016 11:29pm-12:34am EDT

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own life. mr. holcomb: each and every day i will serve as if i am looking through the taxpayer's window. i take the job very seriously. i also work wanted to be known -- i also want it to be known that i would continue to be, strive to be the most acceptable governor in history. that is why i remain in perpetual motion and i've gone to all 92 counties over and over again so that i know the issues. moderator: thank you mr. holcomb. finally, mr. gregg? mr. gregg: i would like voters to know that i have a passion for indiana. that comes from traveling the state and talking to countless hoosiers. that has helped us great a vision for indiana and a detailed written plan based on what is best for indiana, not ideology. and i can assure you as
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governor, i would be a uniter and i will never embarrass the citizens or the state of indiana. moderator: thank you, mr. gregg. gentlemen, thank you for being here, and thank you for just the tone and civility with which you have approached all of these debates. would you agree? [applause] >> thank you, thank you. >> thanks. moderator: thanks to all of you for watching and listening. we want to give special thanks to the university of southern indiana for hosting this debate, television station program,producing the and the league of women voters for keeping time for the candidates. on behalf of the indiana debate commission we hope you further , participate in the process by getting out to vote for the candidate of your choice. good night. [applause] >> thank you.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> democrats need to win 10 seats to get to the senate. florida, we bring you a u.s. senate debate between senatorrm republican marco rubio and democratic candidate patrick murphy. on saturday, kelly i at -- kelly ayotte and her challenger, maggie hassan.
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coming up tonight on c-span, a conversation on u.s. climate policy. 19thate for new york's debate. hillary clinton and donald trump campaigned in florida today. we will have the remarks later. bobby kennedy's last words before he got off stage were on to chicago. the next day he flew to chicago and would meet with the powerful mayor richard daley. his son, bill, who was chief of obama, saidrack there was a 70% or greater chance that he would've endorsed bobby kennedy for president. >> larry time discusses his book, "bobby kennedy." >> had bobby kennedy beat richard nixon
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the way i think he would have, america would have been a different place. racial tension and international discord might be a little bit effort if we try to address them 50 years ago. sunday on "q and a." >> now, jonathan pershing talks about the paris climate agreement. this was hosted by the atlantic council. moderator: i think we can begin. good morning, everyone.
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afternoonaybe it is by now. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to the atlantic council and we are going to be hearing from the chairman. i'm pleased to welcome all of you here today. the conversation with special envoy for climate change, jonathan pershing. he will be talking about the upcoming 22nd conference of parties in marrakesh, morocco. havee really very proud to special envoy pershing here. to choose the atlantic council as the venue to deliver his remarks as to what his priorities are with respect to marrakesh. we were very proud last year that secretary kerry came and spoke prior to paris.
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we are doing more and more all the time in the climate change area, and it is certainly a priority for the global energy center. just last week we launched a paper with a program by bob i court on energy transformation in developing countries after cop 21, which is an incredibly important topic with respect to implementation issues, and will be carrying on with further programs in that vein. it is also especially significant that on october 5, the european parliament ratified the paris agreement which brought the total approvals to the 55%, over the 55% admissions threshold. the agreement will actually go into effect next week on the
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fourth of november. and so the cop 22 meeting is going to be the first meeting of signatories with a ratified agreement, and to talk about what is absolutely key, how are the commitments going to be implemented? obviously that is going to be the key to success. i will just say briefly, you have the bio of dr. pershing, obviously a distinguished career. before his present position he was at the department of energy and before that, deputy special envoy for climate change. he has had a five year career at iea as part of their environmental division, has done other things that you can read. there is nobody that knows more about this than jonathan pershing. of course, the person who will be the moderator of the discussion, new york times correspondent choral devonport
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where her energy and climate expertise came as a fellow of the metcalfe and the two and has covered energy and environment for the national journal, professional quarterly, and the new york times. i am really looking forward to this conversation. we thank both of you for being here today. i want to remind everybody that today's discussion is on the record. it is streaming live, and you can join the conversation on twitter at ac global energy so that, jonathan, the floor is yours. jonathan: thanks very much, and thank you for hosting me here at the atlantic council. it is a pleasure to be here.
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i cannot fill the illustrious shoes of secretary kerry so get stay tuned for a high-level eminent presentation that hopefully gives you some insight to what is going on in the climate change agenda. thanks to all of the folks who have chosen to join online. it is often interesting to start with this story that frames the issue. i have chosen one that i think is relevant to me. i grew up in new york. the south ferry whitehall station lies in southmost tip of manhattan. all of these connections that come through it. on october 29, 15 million gallons of salt water poured into the south ferry station. salt water mixed with raw sewage and every completely inundated and destroyed the power system. it wrecked every mechanical system.
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the escalators, turnstiles, all of the technology. it was one of the results of superstorm sandy. it largely immobilized new york during superstorm sandy in october 2012. nine of the 14 tunnels were entirely flooded, unable to withstand the storm surge. the largest transit system in the nation was crippled, and the cost to rehabilitate and open this ferry station is going to top -- that one station will top $630 million. repairs continue to this day, the transit authority and local and federal officials have been installing flood covers on all the openings. there are 540 openings at the six stations in lower manhattan. new york was not built with superstorm sandy in mind although new york is almost better prepared than any other city in the hemisphere. it has devoted years of research and millions of dollars to build
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resilience to a 100-year flood. at the end of the day, sandy represented a one in 700 year event and when it arrived, every vulnerability was laid bare. according to the national center for environmental research, climate change is partly to blame. they say warm seas likely played a role in camping up superstorm sandy and the fact that the sea level has risen means that sandy's surges were able to wash further inland. here is the framework, here is the outcome, here is the climate change impact. those are only the tip of the iceberg. take the spread of the zika virus. the mosquitoes responsible cannot survive cold winters. we know their reproductive cycle has accelerated significantly in warmer temperatures, and while epidemiologists and global health experts assess zika, they
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agree that climate change is playing an indisputable role in the spread of these diseases. as colder regions warm and precipitation patterns shift, the mosquitoes that carry zika are expanding their habitable range. these offense are not contained exclusively in the united states. not even at our borders. on a recent trip to nigeria, i talked about the impact of climate change and a number of national crises with their environmental minister. one of the things is the threat being developed by boko haram. there is also a second threat that you are probably less aware of, the conflict between the farmers and land ranchers in the community. in both cases, drought is the culprit. in the northern part of the country where boko haram rom is it has led to a failure of , systems and that has driven recruits to boko haram. in the central part of the country those droughts have
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, forced cattle ranchers onto forms and into conflict with farmers. on one and the crop is drying up , and there is less availability and at the other end, the grazing land is drying up, there is less availability so they are coming into conflict. these cannot exclusively be laid to climate change though they have been made noticeably worse. they will become worse still as warming continues. if the stories represent the local and immediate effects of climate, a global impacts are no less daunting and the global statistics there it out. 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001. the arctic ice sheet has hit new lows in coverage. not only an indication of rapid warming, but in fact an accelerator of that warming. ice and snow cover that used to reflect heat back into space disappeared. sea level has risen an average of nine inches over the last century and the pace is accelerating. hurricane intensity and energy
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has increased by 70% just in recent decades. our oceans have warmed and this sounds like a small number, but it is a norm us. our oceans have warmed about a half a degree celsius or one degree fahrenheit per decade in the last 30 years. these are extraordinary statistics and are only a few of the countless ones that we have got. climate change is a problem that does have solution. it demands cooperation across borders. no single nation can turn back these global forces on its own. driven by this threat, the global community has begun to rise to the challenge not a moment too soon. in december 2015, 195 countries came together in paris in search of common ground to solve this problem, and by any measure they clearly succeeded. as the u.s. special envoy for climate change i responsible for representing the united states,
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but i cannot claim credit for paris. credit is due to my predecessor. many of you know him, todd stern, who led the u.s. team last year. he was following a very strong lead provided by president obama and secretary kerry, to whom we owe an enormous debt of gratitude from having moved us down this agenda with that kind of power. it is useful in trying to evaluate paris to start earlier. don't start with paris. start at the beginning of the u.n. negotiations in the early 1990's. i was present at the very first meeting of the u.n. when it became the convention on climate change and was convened by president george bush, the first george bush outside of washington, d.c. did not have a lot of pageantry, had a small number of scientists, no ceos or visiting dignitaries, no organizations touting the programs, but it did
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set the framework for action. it did establish a forum for further negotiation. the first negotiation done underneath the office of the u.n. convention concluded in 1997, the kyoto protocol. it applied missions that emissions cuts to developed countries, leaving the rest of the developing world to pursue vague and undefined actions. 12 years later under the offices of the convention, the copenhagen accord succeeded with a wider variety of commitments with developed and developing countries. that represented a major breakthrough in a precursor to the paris agreement, but the session ended chaotically and a global agreement was still not in place. fast-forward to 2015 and the 21st session.
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the french led session brought nearly 50,000 attendees. presidents, prime ministers, and ceos competed and tried to outdo each other with sweeping announcements and statements of new and renewed action to combat climate change. in paris we adopted the first , time a durable agreement known to all nations as the foundation on which i think we can build successfully. the paris agreement relies on national climate goals, known as nationally determined contributions, to cut greenhouse gas emissions. virtually all countries put forward these specific goals. nations.t count, 186 the big players are all in. china set a target of 60% to 65% reduction in emissions intensity. india pledged 40% and couple
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this with a promise to build 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2030. the eu set the target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2040. -- 2030. the united states has goals of 26-28%.them to smaller countries are in as well. smallest in many cases have even more impressive target. costa rica and a number of small island states have alleged to reduce net emissions to zero. a number of countries have called for the complete elimination of emissions from their power sector, all of that enshrined in commitments announced in the run-up to paris. yet the universality of this , agreement and comprehensiveness of coverage is a first in the annals of our climate talks. never before have we had this
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kind of participation. it was clear that the pledges by themselves were not be sufficient. for it to work parties had to have confidence that others would meet these national commitments, and there would therefore be progress. you have to have monitoring and a robust system to verify these goals would move. this is the system that was in trying to in paris at the negotiations. it has layers of accountability, review mechanisms to match countries' words with their deeds. as we work to meet the global goal of eliminate warming to well below two degrees. that is the framework we adopted. we had an agreement to ratchet second, up emissions over time. it was clear this first phase would not be sufficient to solve the problem and we needed to continue to go forward. the announced numbers would not keep us below two degrees of warming. two that end it calls for , revisiting national pledges every five years. as countries achieve their targets and costs of solutions
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come down we anticipate they , will make stronger pledges going forward. finally the agreement does not , just lay out a process for setting and advising international contributions, it provides assistance and help for countries to make their target. the agreement marshals a broad array of support to help nations invest in infrastructure, technology, and science to meet their goals, and help vulnerable countries become more resilient in the face of certain climate impacts. that is the architecture. national climate targets, strong accountability system, a system to track targets, renewing targets over time, and a framework to support the low carbon transition and help vulnerable countries respond to climate change. now that the community has taken the step of adopting the agreement we are faced with the it, of implementing translating it into tangible action. already we are beginning to see
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this happen. in the u.s. we have adopted new regulations that increase the efficiency of cars, trucks, appliances. we are moving to adopt refrigeration and cooling technologies that release fewer and less potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, and we have developed and hope to soon begin implementing the president's clean power plan to reduce major sources of carbon dioxide from the industrial sector and power plants. while there are legal challenges that are moving their way through the system, we are confident it remains on solid legal footing and will soon begin to bend the curve of emissions from electricity generation. since paris, congress is actually passed laws providing support for renewable energy. these have led to the rapid uptake of clean power. taken together, all of these initiatives represent an unprecedented approach to climate change. the effects are already apparent.
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wind and solar energy accounted look for2/3 of all new of all newting -- electricity generating capacity installed in the u.s. according to the department of energy. last year, wind power represented about 41% of all new generating capacity and a 2014 there were nearly 71,000 megawatts power across 41 states. the u.s. solar energy now employs more people than coal. lastn every new 78 jobs year was in solar energy. we are also in the process of developing technical projections to the longer-term, not stopping in 2025 but looking beyond. how can we squeeze the vast bulk of carbon emissions out of our economy by 2050? the so-called midcentury strategies. and whichys we layout we plan to release in a couple weeks will detail scenarios in which the u.s. can build a very
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low emission economy that lets us play our part in achieving our long-term global target of avoiding dangerous climate change. the dramatic shift i have outlined are not limited to the united states. last year an estimated 147 gigawatts of renewable power was installed around the world. that is equivalent to about 20% of the entire u.s. electrical supply just last year at a global level. china by itself announced plans for 150 to 200 gigawatts of electricity using solar power by 2020. that is four times their previous target, and their previous target is not too old. wants to lift their wind power to 200 and 50 gigawatts the same year. these numbers are simply enormous. canada, prime minister trudeau announced that canada would be
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establishing a carbon tax starting at $10 a ton canadian and rising at $10 per year for the next five years. significant commitment. in just a few weeks over the course of the last month, we have passed a series of international agreement. in montréal we passed in october the international civil aviation organization a dropped it an agreement establishing a global market mechanism for civil aircraft for the first time , asking them to offset their emissions. this was excluded not only from the original convention but from every climate agreement since. if international aviation was a country, it would be among the top dozen emitters and is growing quickly. this is a big deal. then just the couple weeks later we finished another breakthrough. we had a meeting of the parties of the montréal protocol in rwanda, where nearly 200
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countries agreed to pare down their use of hydrofluorocarbons. ,hat is a potent greenhouse gas several thousand times more powerful than co2. while these gases currently account for only a few percent of global emissions, in the absence of any agreement they were expected to increase rapidly. avoiding those emissions brings us much closer to meeting the goals we set in paris. perhaps most significantly of all, on october 4, we passed the threshold required for entering into force the paris agreement. 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions and those numbers continue to grow. entry into force means we can expect parties to follow through on what they said they would do and abide by the provisions of the agreement. as i have already outlined, these are critical for putting us on a trajectory to meeting our common goals and ramping up local ambition over time in a transparent and accountable manner.
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emission reduction efforts reflect only one part of our implementation agenda. a second is in the arena of mobilizing climate finance. the international energy agency estimated that pledges made to to parisnnouncement up would yield a $7.4 trillion global investment in renewable energy in the next two decades. a lot of banks and sovereign wealth funds and investors do not understand how these take allergies and pipelines function, or how to best finance and backstop such projects. their dollars are sidelined while they wait for more aggressive actors in the market and for those players to create a template. if we can attract the inactive funds, it could trigger a new flood of investment in this part of our economy. 1/3 of all developed country debt pays a negative interest rate. that means that bondholders are
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paying the government to hold about $7 trillion worth of their money. bondholders are paying governments instead of governments paying bondholders. about $7 trillion is out there. it is an astonishing capital environments. to me it suggests there is a need for broad-based technology liberate and free some of this unused capital. it is in this context that the countries have pledged to mobilize $100 million in low privatefrom public and sources, on an annual basis by 2020. an analysis shows we are on a trajectory to meet that pledge. we know developing countries are going to need our support in the future. we know that public money will never come close to the level required to meet the challenge. the green climate fund set up in part to support action, is using debt and insurance projects to minimize risk and encourage the movement of private capital.
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the world bank, the regional development banks, our aid agencies are on a similar pathway. seeking to strategically deployed public funds, increased leverage ratios, and incentivize more private sector investments. finance,in addition to in addition to mitigation, our implementation pathway has to encompass a major effort to build resilience and adapt to the unavoidable impact of climate that we face. it will become more severe when we move to higher temperatures. even if we were able to halt the rise at only 1.5 degrees celsius, which is an effort that we are seeking to do under the agreement, the damages would be severe. world's-- 2% of the population lives at one meter or less above sea level. we currently anticipate they will rise as much as this or more by the end of the century. that means nearly 150 million
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people will need to move. there are currently only 65 people in the migrant pool from syria, afghanistan, places that are currently exposed to conflict and persecution. just sea level rise, not the other damages of drought, not the other storm impacts, not the other agriculture impacts, just the sea level rise more than , double the current number. we have to continue to manage the increasingly severe consequences. drought will not go away. it affects communities around the world. we have to build resilience for these intense storms. new york was ahead of the curve and still faced damages. they have capacity and very few others are in that place. we need to decrease temperatures because of disease vectors and agriculture productivity. climate resilient planning for a climate-resilient global economy. all of these issues will be taken up next month in theakesh, in morocco, at
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22nd conference of the parties at the convention. i earlier put out some information on the progress we have made to date. entry into force of paris, the protocol of montréal. one of the consequences of this is the first meeting of the parties at the paris agreement will occur in marrakesh. i anticipate the session will therefore endorse an accelerated timetable for completion of the work called for in the paris we initially thought it would take a number of years and it has gone much more quickly so we are accelerating the timetable. the urgency means we need to urge our technical experts to keep pace and accelerate their programs. we also need to guard against the renegotiation of paris. in the parlance of these negotiations, we do not want any backsliding. we will not countenance any undermining of the basic principles that govern the agreement.
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in our view, we have moved beyond a bifurcated world in which developing and developed countries are in two buckets and against each other. we resolved that and we need to move beyond that. the annual climate meetings are becoming broader in scope, getting beyond the notion of negotiations to include a wide array of activities from countries around the globe. it offers a high profile venue for spotlighting what really works in the world in terms of technology and policy, so we can all learn key lessons and deploy them with all possible speed. we need to use the venue to engage not just chief sustainability officers, but also mayors, governors. not just environmental ministers but foreign ministers, ministers of agriculture and finance. the media and through them the public at large.
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i invite all of you to think about how we can do this most effectively. the grand challenge presented by climate demands continued engagement across the board. we know that in spite of the difficulties in making the transition to a low carbon economy, the opportunities it prevent -- presents are enormous. failure to address climate change is actually untenable. simply put, it is not a choice. action comes with a knowledgeable upside potential while in action carries a terrible downside risk. we now have definitive proof in the united states that we can lower our emissions while simultaneously growing our economy. , u.s.n 2000-2014 emissions have fallen 6% while the economy has grown 28%. it is not just true here at home. for the second year in a row, global gdp grew. in 2015, it grew and the economy grew and emissions stayed slack. we know that dozens of nations
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around the world have successfully decoupled economic growth from carbon pollution, and their economies continue to grow. we've made a significant and historic level of process this year. we have a chance to mark further successes as we build new roles for transparency and a whole host of other items. i want to close with superstorm sandy. i grew up in new york and most of us do not live there or use their subway systems, but the threat manhattan faces is common to all of us around the world. we cannot freeze time and halt impacts of climate change, but with the paris agreement we have a mechanism to marshal our collective will and commit ourselves to do something. it is a call to action and a call to action the world needs to heed. let me stop with that, take questions, and look forward to the conversation.
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[applause] coral: jonathan, thank you so much. we will turn to a q&a and i will ask follow-up questions of issues that you raised and then turn to the audience. if you want to be thinking about your questions we will go in about 10 to 15 minutes. you mentioned that there has been this really surprising unprecedented trifecta of developments in the international climate community space. paris entering into force, the amendment on high potency greenhouse gas coolants, and the aviation agreement as well, the global aviation community agreeing to cap a trade program.
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at the same time, no one is looking at these three developments says this is enough to solve the problem. all of them have come under criticism. paris is entered into force that there still are not equal enforcement or sanctions if countries choose not to follow through. criticism of the aviation agreement is a lot of that deal was written by the airlines themselves. it has been criticized as business as usual. the other agreement got a lot of praise but was not as strong as the united states would've wanted. there is this real political momentum, but the substance does does not necessarily meet up. jonathan: thanks very much. as we look at the set of problems we have to look at it in two contexts. the first one is where we are today and what we can do
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immediately, what do the politics lend themselves to? what are the other issues? the second is where do we want to be in 50 to 100 years in terms of our reduction strategy. you can always make magic happen out some 50 years from now and say emissions will miraculously shut down, but you have to get there and that requires a collective set of actors to engage in a way that is difficult. let's start off with the aviation sector. the aviation sector is looking for alternative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. we are going to see the use of biofuels in the aviation sector. they are producing a drop in replacement that you can use without much change, but a small share of the market. can you accelerate that? one of the ways you accelerate and is by having a price, to have a price, you put in regulation and having a tradable permit structure. do we want to drive airlines out of business? of course not. we want to drive a change in
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behavior. it has to be slow enough to allow the market to keep pace, but fast enough to keep us in the range of where we want to go. this is the model and balance we would seek, and of course it involves the aviation sector. the second one, the montreal protocol structure. it has the support of the community deeply involved in the uses of these gases to which we phased out emissions. hydrofluorocarbons, the whole conversation on your car in the summer. do you want to phase them out tomorrow? no, we do not have replacement. we want to create a process where there is a steady indication to the market to develop alternatives, a clear signal and timetable. those move much more aggressively than in the absence
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of the agreement and they lead to a fundamental shift in what is happening. we have agreements from the air and refrigeration community but also from the environmental community. they wanted to move faster, the air guys wanted slower, this is the balance that was achieved and it fundamentally set a signal that did not exist before. i think we are in a place that you have to think through, how do you do the next possible step? i think too often we look for the perfect. i think what we have now is the very, very good. it is not a bad place to start because in the absence of that we take no action. coral: you talked about one of the key pieces of the paris agreement, of the broader framework, is transparency. that the only way this is going to work is if there is monitoring, reporting, verification, and we can trust
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that countries are doing what they say they will do. the paris accord itself lacks specifics on how that is going to happen. at the time, there was a sense that we will put that language in and figure out what it is going to look like later. in the broad international community there is a real divergence of ideas of what that means. will it be an outside body, international agency who has the authority to drop in and do surprise inspections? will it be self reporting by government? this is an open question. jonathan: i think this is a question that a lot of people are asking and it is well framed and important to understand. we do not have environmental agreement. we have a structure that relies on national implementation and that is a robust structure.
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i don't know how many of you have followed domestic court cases around environmental regulations, but there are real consequences to those not in compliance. you have the epa coming in and the department of justice and if you do not behave, you end up with potentially jail time and huge fines. those are things the international community does not impose but the domestic and national community does. the strength is predicated on the willingness of countries to adopt the programs to lead to implementation. we have pretty good indicators today that countries have begun to put those in place. far from being a structure where we are waiting out here for a decade or two decades to see if people will comply, we can look at laws imposed in china, india, brazil, costa rica, the united states, in which compliance is being promoted.
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kyoto had a series of noncompliance consequences and the only country to go through it was canada, who decided they would simply withdraw. now we have a process in which there are not these kinds of consequences and china is in and in,a is in, and canada is and the u.s. is in. that is a much better outcome. it appears from our current indicators that we are going to actually meet these, countries that are on trajectories to implement their targets, they have put in policies for individual actors to take them on. that shift in the model is what made it possible for countries to join and at least so far, suggests that countries will meet their objectives. coral: the united states under paris has pledged it will lower its emissions 25% to 28% from 2005 levels by 2025, but there is a lot of analysis showing clear,ght now, it is not
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even given the clean power plants and the obama administration regulations that will get there. clean power plan is still under litigation and it could have slower timetables for implementation. so given that, under the obama administration, the u.s. is probably going to struggle to meet what it has put forth, and under the structure of the paris plan in 2020, the u.s. has to go back to the table and offer a stronger plan. what specifically does the next administration need to do to ensure that the u.s. can meet the pledges under the obama administration and significantly strengthen them? jonathan: if i had a crystal ball, it would be fabulous. the dynamics of what the next
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are astration will do our little opaque. what we can do is take a look at what expectations we put in motion in the course of this agreement and where it comes out. the first thing is to think about the exogenous forces that are independent of policy. a number of things are happening in the united states emission sector. congress chose an extension of the production tax credit for renewables. between now and 2025 the consequences are likely to mean that the clean power plan will not bite before 2025. which means, we will get continued reductions and penetration because of the supports, but it goes beyond that because what we are seeing now is a price decline in the marketplace that is very pronounced. part of that will help by historically significant investments in r&d made by the government and the private sector. part of it has been helped by a change in price globally.
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the cost of solar panels has come down more than 10 times just in the last decade. an extraordinary change in the system. people expect now that with the support that congress had passed -- and passed after paris -- that you can install solar for less than you can install gas , which suggests the next rollbackation should and sustain those policies, and think about additional actions it can take. the 26%-20% -- 28% we have committed ourselves to is within our grasp. you have to keep pushing these options forward the next generation is harder. we have to think about a variety of things. we have put some in motion ourselves. the secretary of energy has done along with a group of private sector investors, to double the r&d we are spending now on clean energy. we have been joined by the 20
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largest r&d investors in the world under something called mission innovation. china is in, india and germany are in, and they are doing the doubling. they are complemented by a set of investments being made by the private sector players, a coalition called the breakthrough coalition organized by bill gates. it has committed itself to put billions of its own money in investing in the outputs of those research programs. the paris agreement also calls for the development of a midcentury strategy. what do you believe about the opportunity for clean energy? is it going to be nuclear power? how do you think about the price of solar? all of those can be factored in and you can look at where you will head. on transport, will it be electrification of vehicles,
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hydrogen vehicles, a biofuels program? what do you think of that and where the consequences? what about buildings? you can go into a number of buildings in washington that are net zero buildings. there is only a handful, but they are very attractive. we have been in portland and austin, texas and beijing and mumbai. can we invest in those things? those are not just federal, those are local, state, corporate. that dynamic is going to play out in a fundamental way to drive us to a 2050 horizon with an 80% reduction, not the 26% to 28% we are striving for in 2025. coral: a lot of climate change discussions tend to revolve around the biggest emitters. u.s., india, china, eu.
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there might be questions on whether they can reduce emissions as quickly as they said they will. the leaders of all those entities have come to the table and said politically, we have the will to do this. the fifth largest emitter and a really important player in this space as russia. russia is a petro state, depends on sales of fossil fuels or its economy, and vladimir putin is one of the only world leaders who has been openly skeptical and mocking of the science of climate change. the russian indc is essentially business as usual and does not purport to make ambitious reductions. i would love to know what you hear or see from your russian counterparts in this space, and also address the question, can this be done if you do not have this major player at the table?
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jonathan: the russians are a really interesting case. many of you in the room probably follow them closely. we had last week a meeting called the pre-cop, a discussion that happens among a group of 40 to 50 countries in advance of the conference. it was held in morocco. the russians were invited and did not come. in some ways, i think that is the current story of russia. it is not that they are stopping things, it is just not engaging. that is not a good outcome, but at the end of the day, the fact that they are not blocking things i think is an important signal. russia has been an on and off again player. sometimes they are antagonistic. vladimir putin thought that climate change was horrible as the fires that consumed much of the steps went through.
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he thought climate change was the driver of that, so he kind of blows hot and cold on this question. the question of russia's export markets are going to matter a great deal. how is this going to be shaped in the energy infrastructure over the next 20 years? what is that dynamic for ukraine as a state? what is that dynamic for russian competition with north sea supplies, which are declining? howdy zynga of north africa? of north you think africa? it's a complicated story. let's look at the other petro states and how they are playing. maybe they will give us some insight into the dynamics of russia. my favorite is saudi arabia. saudi arabia has announced a series of targets for renewable energy for a variety of reasons, but fundamentally looking at altering its economy. saudi arabia is doing it because as their population grows they are looking at consuming more and more of their oil domestic ly and so there's less available
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for export. number two, i need to have new jobs because the oil market does not provide many and stability in the kingdom requires you providing new economic opportunities. they see renewable energy as providing that marketplace. they are actually threatened by climate change. and although this is not number one or two, this is a driver for a ship. a lot of their facilities are on the coast and they have already intolerably high temperatures and only a marginal additional increase could be fatal. here is a play which you would never have expected five years ago. what happened five years ago in russia? what is the export market going to move to be? what is the domestic consumption and demand? these are uncertainties, and if the rest of the world moves down the structure of a change in price, the future russian leadership is going to have to manage this.
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it is independent in some sense of the current view. it is a function of economic reality and the issues facing the fact that cannot be isolated. fundamental change in russian supply and development might move them a different way. if their productivity sector is not able to keep pace in the shift on climate, fundamental problems for russia. they have gone through times where they were importing vast amounts of american food. what is climate change doing to the steps? not clear. these kind of things will shape their politics and policies in a way i think the current administration in russia is not going to block and will ultimately have to get in line with. coral: one question and we will turn to the audience. in terms of going forward on climate change in climate policy, what do you worry about the most? what are you most optimistic about?
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what role might you play in a hillary clinton administration? jonathan: i have been asked and i do not know. the other two i think are more complicated. what am i most worried about? i am worried we will not have the political capacity to keep up on the mitigation side with the rate of change. it is coming faster than we thought. the upside, so are the policies and technology. the climate is getting worse at about the same rate that our policies are getting better. the numbers are ones that we could not have predicted five years ago. when we came into office we thought realistically in 2025 the trajectory, the upper outer bounds is supposed to be a meter and now it is supposed to be two meters and it looks like we will have a foot by the end of this decade. this decade. so much faster. on the upside, technology is doing really well. elon musk has a self driving electric vehicle that you can buy an option to get one in a
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couple of years. he will have it on the market. car does not,000 come out, but it is going to be close. can we do that fast enough? i am worried we will not win and if we do, the cost of doing so because the impact will continue to grow, we will still have to face those. what am i optimistic about this the other side. i think this last month is a fundamental marker of a shift in thinking. ultimately, who came to submit their ratification of the paris agreement? heads of state. they came in in enormous numbers to sign, 180 countries signed the agreement the first day was open. we have never had that. the previous high water mark for any agreement was about 70 nations. 180 countries said yes, this matters, and i'm going to send
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my head of state or foreign minister to sign on. that is a huge shift in the politics at the global level and that leads me to be much more optimistic. coral: now turning to the audience for questions. if you could state your name. >> thank you for your remarks. you mentioned resilience. there is an immense amount happening in that domain. even the private sector, there are sectors that are coming together. i wonder if you could talk a little bit about the u.s. priorities in the resilience space but also a little bit about the role of the private sector, are they stepping in? jonathan: i think they font to a couple of different categories. on the u.s. side, domestically and internationally.
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there is a lot being run out of the department of economic equality. one of the things we're trying to do is develop better mapping tools to discover where the impacts are and elevate our understanding of the damage was the already and the damage might anticipate over the next decade or so. that involved all the agencies and the government -- the president has committed us as a government. and support communities as they build their own internal and for structure. there are resources being made available for all of the different agencies for different sectors. the department of programs for the farming community. noaa has their own programs. the interior department has a series of programs managing land structures, the corps of
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engineers looking at bolstering andd zone mapping deployment of its own resources to improve resilience and infrastructure they're responsible for. that whole suite of things is underway. , it would bely largely private driven. we're seeing a much more mixed story. it is less evident that people have begun to make the investments require to build the resilience. is, willion ultimately we change some of the loss to modify a structure. for example, fema will provide you with insurance that will pick up the damage costs for various weather disasters. exactlyk up the cost of what you had, not the improvements to make it more resilient. the idea was not to have the federal government defray the cost of building a fancy new
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space, but in this new world, you want to make these improvements on an ongoing basis and we've not put this kind of systems in the point. there are interesting things happening in the private sector. i am seeing real change in the way companies are making their own deployment of their own assets to build resilience into the ever structure. walmart is doing it with logistics, they are thinking about where they have to deploy resources in case of being cut off by storms. in the power sector, people building new resources for managing heat stress, those sort of things are being rolled in. on the international side, it is not any easier but it is a more diverse community. there is work underway helping communities to planning for impacts. we have a series of what are called national adaptation plans for which the green climate fund
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has got between $2 million and $3 million per developing country to help them put in place a series of national plans. organizations are actively involved in facilitating those plans and making them more robust. other countries supporting these endeavors. we are seeing increased attention focus on the. the idea is to find a balance between -- to address the problem. there are a small number of countries responsible for the bulk of the missions and it is true. you have another 180 countries that did not doing -- did not do very much to create the problem but are feeling the impacts. that is the community that needs this kind of support. coral: the next question.
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>> thank you. thank you very much, great moderation, excellent speech. i noticed a feeling of chagrin that there is a strong anti-fossil tobias which i understand. reduced its has greenhouse gas emissions after kyoto much more than any other kyoto signatory because of the use of natural gas. natural gas is also well poised to help developing countries afford cleaner, less admitting energy source until the development of renewables on an economically viable scale. you mentioned saudi arabia, but
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to gulf countries have imported us-based natural gas. is there going to be any effort at club 22 to put natural gas in a different basket than other fossil fuels as one that is reducing emissions while maintaining current levels of power generation? jonathan: the answer is no, but for different reasons than you might think. it is not so much a function and i hope i didn't come across as being anti-fossil fuel, i want to come across as being anti-carbon. one of the different solutions is to remove yourself from high emitting sources to low emitting sources. natural gas has played an essential role. there is no way we will be done as far as we are if we do not have gas in the next. competitive clearly
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and has declined sharply from only one decade ago. we used to be $13 and are now less than four dollars. they have worked hand-in-hand. if i look up to 2050, gas will also have to be captured and stored if we are going to use it at scale. for me it is not a question of whether the gas is good, whether carbon is good and how i managed that part of the equation. for me,. capture and storage becomes an essential technology. one of the things i worked on is how to increase our potential to generate that kind of capacity. i see a variety of needs for backstop technology. what is the model for quick ramping backup electricity when you need it? right now, the single best option is gas. how you marry these kinds of questions and a much more
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complicated system going forward? that is the explanation we have to do, that is the kind of model we have. but in all cases, if you have a high carbon footprint, that footprint is going to get smaller and smaller and smaller over time, is not quite work. we will not solve the problem only with gas. coral: time for one more question. this one here. jonathan, i wonder if you could give us a sense from a u.s. perspective what is the best, realistic outcome of america advocat -- america at the conference? jonathan: there are three buckets i would put the discussion. the first is a recognition of it being a political meeting on the climate side.
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so what does that mean? ministers will come together and reflect on the new world dynamic. the second, paris itself has a variety of explicit obligations that it incorporates. to do a weather first meetings of the parties, a series of paths, and there will be an accelerated timetable and urgency around the technical work. we will be sitting down and doing the negotiations over those particulars. third is a particular set of discussions over what is called the action agenda. that is a series of themed days with discussions on everything , renewables and gas and efficiency, a theme day on agriculture, a theme day on forest, a theme day on finance, a theme day on adaptation. a series of these days over the
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course of the week where senior figures from around the world will begin moving us away from the range of negotiation and into the discussion of implementation. it is a big shift. this will be face to, the anthem -- phase two, the implementation. will this be inscribed in gaveled through and we will take away and have a concrete tickling -- take away? i don't know yet, it remains to be seen. i think some of the pieces will come out in a standard form. you have to have a decision with a timetable, you have to have a decision with a form of work, with the conclusions that will reach the agreement. will the first


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