Featured Services: Asbestos Removal, CNC Machining & Milling, Commercial Electricians, Crane Hire, Electronic Design & Engineering, Fire Safety & Protection , Forklift Training & Licences, HVAC Cleaning, Industrial Design, Office Fitouts, Plumbing, Road Freight, Safety Consultants, Sheetmetal Fabrication, Structural Engineering, Warehousing & Distribution, Welding Services
ETS remains 'one possible option', US ecologist insists
09/07/2012 - A leading United States climate official says there's no doubt global warming is real but whether emissions trading is the best way to tackle the problem is less clear. Julian Drape
Find related suppliers
Jane Lubchenco, who heads up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is visiting Australia to attend a coral reef conference.
The US has emissions-trading schemes in different states — most significantly California — but legislation for a nationwide scheme stalled in the Senate in 2010.
Nevertheless, Dr Lubchenco insists it "continues to be considered as one possible option".
"We continue to have discussions with Congress and are hopeful that we'll be able to have collective action that will address this very important problem," she told reporters in Canberra on Friday.
The US undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere was reluctant to comment specifically on the Gillard government's controversial carbon price which started this week but noted "we'll follow what you are doing closely".
"Each country needs to find its way to deal with the changing climate and its impact, and each country is doing that in a different way," Dr Lubchenco said.
The eminent ecologist said there was no doubt governments needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"We are no longer at a point where we are questioning whether climate change is happening, although some continue to," she said.
"The focus really is on what should we be doing to both avoid the unmanageable by reducing emissions, as well as manage the unavoidable by focusing on adaptation."
Dr Lubchenco said it was crucial to bring down the price of clean energy alternatives, which was why the Barack Obama administration had been investing heavily in renewables.
The US was experiencing more extreme weather events that were likely connected to climate change, she said.
The US just had its warmest spring since records began in 1895.
In the past two years there have been record-breaking wildfires in the west, with Colorado experiencing a rash of them right now.
This year for just the third time ever two tropical storms formed before the official start of the hurricane season in June.
A new report also suggests New York's sea level will rise by 20cm to 29cm more than the 1m global average by 2100.
Outside the US, the NOAA administrator pointed to dwindling Arctic sea ice, which was lower in mid-June 2012 than at the same time in the record-low year of 2007.
In Alaska, carbon-dioxide concentrations hit 400 parts per million as a monthly average for the first time ever in a remote location.
Australian Climate Commission head Tim Flannery on Friday said while the US didn't have a nationwide ETS it had committed to cut emissions by 17 per cent on 2005 levels by 2020.
"It's that commitment to the target that really counts," he told reporters at a joint press conference with Dr Lubchenco.
Browse the IndustrySearch directory: Electrical & Power Equipment
Related Feature Articles
Water will be released from more flooded Queensland mines into rivers...
Telstra is not saying how many jobs may be lost as part of a major...
Labor and the coalition are at odds over how to save the manufacturing...
Australia's bosses are being encouraged to employ older women in their...
A mining giant is refusing to hire local workers for its two new central...