Commonwealth National Podcast

Climate One in Copenhagen

Duration: 
58:59

Climate One in Copenhagen

Segment One

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor, California Huang Ming, Founder and CEO, Himin Solar (one of China's largest renewable energy companies)

Segment Two

Rajendra Pachauri, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Caio Koch-Weser, Vice Chair, Deutsche Bank

As the tumultuous climate negotiations in Copenhagen near the end, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says it is embarrassing that the US does not have a national climate policy as do many of the 192 countries meeting here. He says sub-national actors such as states and cities can act as "laboratories of action" on climate change as they have on many other issues. Huang Ming, a former petroleum engineer turned clean energy entrepreneur, says that shaping popular culture and thinking is as important as the policies being discussed in Copenhagen. In a light moment he and the governor discuss heating hot tubs with solar energy.

Rajendra Pachauri says India and other countries are doing a lot at the local level to reduce carbon pollution.
"We don't need to wait for leadership at the top," he says, urging a grassroots movement to spur deadlocked negotiations among countries here trying to reach a global climate framework.

He believes rich countries do have a moral obligation to address the carbon pollution their economic development has created.

Among the most contentious issues in Copenhagen is the question of transferring funds from wealthy countries to help less developed nations reduce future pollution and deal with changes already happening. Koch-Weser, a former official with the World Bank and German Finance Ministry, says that financial markets can leverage taxpayer money to reach the $65 billion to $100 billion a year in financing that developing countries say they need to cut a deal. He also says electric cars in the future will be "built in China not Stuttgart or Detroit" because China's automotive technologies will leapfrog industrialized countries.

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