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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Adaptation and U.S. Presidential Candidates

There are some interesting differences between the proposed climate change platforms of Senators McCain and Obama. Both candidates have put forth rather ambitious greenhouse gas mitigation reduction targets - 60% (below 1990) by 2050 for McCain and 80% by 2050 for Obama. How either of those targets gets through the U.S. Congress remains to be seen, and were they to overcome that hurdle, one wonders how those targets actually would be achieved. I can't help but recall images of George Bush during his original Presidential campaign where he promised carbon dioxide emissions reductions. . .

In any case, McCain goes the extra mile of making specific mention of the important role of adapting to climate change impacts. In this regard, the more modest emissions target and the acknowledgement of the need for adaptation makes McCain's platform appear to be the more mature. This is no surprise, given his long-term dedication to chasing climate change legislation in the U.S. The lack of adaptation in Obama's platform can be read in one of two ways: either his advisors don't understand the dual strategy approach, or they've intentionally left it off the agenda on the erroneous assumption that adaptation isn't "green".

To read more, go here for McCain or here for Obama.

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