The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Climate Change

Stern Appointed Climate Change Envoy

By Garance Franke-Ruta
In the June 2007 issue of the American Interest, Washington lawyer Todd Stern and think tank executive William Antholis wrote a memo to the next president. Addressed from the "United States Department of Brainstorms" to "The 44th President of the United States," the action memorandum laid out the case for "creating the E-8" -- a novel international group uniting leading developed nations and developing ones for an annual gathering focused on combating global warming.

Now, as Al Kamen noted this morning, Stern will be in a position to write memos to the president for real. This morning, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that Stern will be the special envoy for climate change.

"With the appointment today of a special envoy, we are sending an unequivocal message that the United States will be energetic, focused, strategic and serious about addressing global climate change and the corollary issue of clean energy," Clinton said at the announcement.

Todd Stern.

Stern will be the administration's chief climate negotiator, leading talks at the United Nations climate conferences and smaller sessions.

"Containing climate change will require nothing less than transforming the global economy from a high-carbon to a low-carbon energy base. But done right, this can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and become a driver for economic growth in the 21st century," Stern said after Clinton spoke.

"President Obama and Secretary Clinton have left no doubt that a new day is dawning in the U.S. approach to climate change and clean energy. The time for denial, delay and dispute is over," he continued.

Most recently, Todd Stern was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a partner at WilmerHale, the law firm, where he was vice chairman of the Public Policy and Strategy Group.

He was assistant to the president and staff secretary in the White House from 1993 to 1998, and coordinated the Clinton administration's Initiative on Global Climate Change from 1997 to 1999 -- in which role he acted as the senior White House negotiator at the Kyoto and Buenos Aires climate talks.

David Sandalow, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of "Freedom From Oil," greeted the news of Stern's elevation with enthusiasm: "Today marks a new chapter in U.S. climate diplomacy. The appointment of a special climate envoy underscores the high priority President Obama and Secretary Clinton give this issue. Todd Stern is first-rate -- brilliant, with long experience and deep expertise on climate change."

Posted at 2:25 PM ET on Jan 26, 2009  | Category:  Climate Change
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

One day global warming will go the way of global cooling, swine flu, bird flu, asbestos, breast implants, saccharine, and Y2K.

For now, it should be noted that the issue is far from settled and many scientists do not agree with AGW. Here are just a few:

Posted by: helpfromafriend2002 | January 26, 2009 11:48 PM

OK so the politicians with their law degrees have determined 100% that there is global warming and we are the root of all evil.

I guess there is no need for anyone to get a science degree anymore if you disagree with the DEMS.

But if people are interested, Scientists have not said for certain there is global warming. We have been in a warming trend, but this is not the warmest period in recent history. There appear to be warming and cooling periods lasting about 27 years.

I have an engineering degree and find it hard to believe that CO2 which makes up .038% of our earth is that impacted by manmade gases. Manmade gases only amount to 3.2% of the .038% of CO2 in air which equals .001 percent or 1/1000 of the atmosphere. Personally I can't see how manmade gaes would have that big of an impact on the temperature of the earth.

Posted by: debmries | January 26, 2009 8:34 PM

And then that dang Thermohaline Conveyor stopped supplying that darned Gulf Stream!

And everyone began trying to remember what it was like to get a Suntan!

Folks, what we need to be doing right now is getting ready for the COLD that is coming! Too much Ice from the Antarctic and Greenland is already about to melt! It WILL make the Seawater too diluted to Down-dwell!

Which, is the generator for the Thermohaline Conveyor, which feeds the Gulf Stream!

Any Volcanic Action at this time, will come too late, and only make the "Ice Age" worse, and come even quicker!

LOL! :-D

But don't listen to this Oceanographer, FYI-I live in S. Texas!

I'll survive! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | January 26, 2009 6:04 PM

Really glad Mr. Stern is on the job. We don't need oil now, the sun will shine on time, it will rain on cue, and snow only where the beautiful people want it to. Putting my order in for a wind driven car(green of course). Now we can all be vegins and travel back and forth through borderless countries singing "Coom Bi Ya" and hug and kiss and have free love. Glad I'm as old as I am. Hail the new "Climate Czar".

Posted by: ginaandak | January 26, 2009 4:29 PM

where's that leave Al Gore?
I thought he was going to be Climate Czar

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 26, 2009 3:12 PM

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