White House hopefuls serious on climate change

Barack ObamaLONDON (AFP) – The three main US presidential hopefuls all bode well for the fight against climate change, the UN’s top climate official said in an interview published Tuesday. Speaking to the Financial Times, Yvo de Boer said that John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were “interested in climate change, all three want international engagement, all three favour a cap-and-trade approach (on carbon emissions), which augurs well for the continuation of the carbon market.”

“There is now, I believe, a global consensus that cap-and-trade is the way to go,” the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) told the business daily.

De Boer also put forth a proposal to introduce so-called “climate bonds” — government-issued bonds that would raise money to pay for efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“It would make it possible for the market to engage in ways that it has not been able to so far,” he said.

“There is a recognition that the instruments we have (for carbon trading) need to continue to be improved … At the moment, the (trading mechanism under the Kyoto protocol) is about small investments in small projects that produce small reductions in emissions.”