House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana
President Obama is, of course, traveling to Copenhagen for the UN Climate Summit, but so is a collection of Congressional Republicans bent on preventing Obama from committing to a global treaty and from having the US change its energy infrastructure from one that's fueled by dirty fuels to clean and green ones. About a half-dozen Republicans are going to Denmark, according to Politico, "to oppose plans for cap-and-trade legislation, express their discontent with the scientific community that researches climate change and call for the United Nations to halt any negotiations until the academic scandal known as "Climategate" is resolved."Said House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana:
"In the worst recession in 26 years, in the midst of an academic scandal and questionable science revealed in 'Climategate' and in the absence of a national consensus about policies that would bear upon the category known as climate change, we gather here to say, Mr. President, don't make promises in Copenhagen that we cant keep."
Pence would do well to read the United Nation's Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD), which finds that a pathway to a low carbon economy can lead to big economic benefits. According to the report:
There is no inevitable trade-off between climate change mitigation and development. On the contrary, climate change mitigation is a process of global structural change which offers huge economic opportunities for developing countries.
Nobel Prize winner in economics Paul Krugman echoes the UN's message:
The truth, however, is that cutting greenhouse gas emissions is affordable as well as essential. Serious studies say that we can achieve sharp reductions in emissions with only a small impact on the economy's growth. And the depressed economy is no reason to wait -- on the contrary, an agreement in Copenhagen would probably help the economy recover.
More on COP15:
Only North America Experienced Cooler than Average Temps in 2009
COP15 in Pictures, Day Two: Activist Stunts + Protest Starts (Slideshow)