Cool COP Morning: The Warmings …

Written by David Connell on . Posted in Learn, The Wonk Room

We start this morning with the warming of relations between U.S. and Chinese negotiators over the issue of measuring, reporting and verifying emissions — MRV to those in the know. China signaled that there is room for agreement on the issue, with its chief negotiator saying, the differences with the U.S. over MRV “are not that huge. In general, both countries would like to promote the process.” As we noted yesterday, solving the U.S./China impasse over MRV is key to negotiations moving forward on other issues. (AP/Washington Post)

For those wanting a deeper dive, Reuters has a factbox on the MRV proposals curently on the table.

One of  the central issues to the climate change debate — and the key reason international negotiations keep failing according to environmental strategist Andrew Winston — is deciding which countries are ultimately responsible for the warming. Developing nations like China and India point to the Unites States and the European block saying they’re responsible for the majority of historic emissions since the industrial revolution. Developed countries point to rapidly growing countries like China and India  and say they’ll be responsible for huge emissions increases now and in the future.

Winston’s answer to the question? Forget the old debates and move on, because we all have to transition to a clean energy economy – whether we’re developed or developing. And, he thinks the business community is best positioned to make these changes a reality. (Huffington Post)

Four Republican Senators, James Inhofe (Okla.), John Brasso (Wyo.), David Vitter (La.), and George Voinovich (Ohio) are getting warm under the collar about climate change financing for developing countries. The quartet have written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying they are deeply concerned about plans to help developing nations reduce their emissions, save their forests and adapt to climate change. News of the letter was not warmly received by delegates at the COP who believe politics in Washington could lead the U.S. to welch on the international commitments it made in Copenhagen. (Mother Jones)

Google warmed the hearts of climate change scientists, forest advocates, and researches on Thursday with the release of Earth Engine. The product brings together satellite imagery and a vast amount of scientific data and measurements to paint a global picture of the health of the planet. The platform, which can be paired with Google’s Android mobile software for on-the-ground data collection, could prove to be a boon for measuring and monitoring forest protection efforts around the world. (TechCrunch GreenTech)

Conservancy staff were on hand for the Earth Engine release and offer their initial reactions on video here.

Finally, just in case you were wondering, the Earth is still warming. The last decade was the warmest on record, with Africa, Asia, and parts of the Arctic seeing the steepest temperature rises. Also, it’s quite likely 2010 will be the warmest year on record, surpassing 1998 and 2005. Have a great day … (MSNBC)

(Photo: It’s warm in Cancun … Courtesy of Flickr user UN Climate Talks. Used under a Creative Commons License.)

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