Farm Lobby Weighs on any Global Pact

On the side of the Atlantic where rural restaurants serve “chicken-fried steak” instead of terrine or schnitzel, Europe’s farm bloc has acquired an almost legendary reputation for lobbying clout as exemplified, say, by the weight of the Common Agricultural Policy in transatlantic trade negotiations. American farmers often wish they wielded the same kind of power and influence.

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On Tuesday December 1, 2009, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Royal Danish Embassy, convened a meeting to address prospects for the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference and U.S. energy and environment policy. While expectations for the conference to achieve real success have fallen recently, the experts who addressed the two panel seminar all concurred that this conference is an essential step towards securing effective climate change legislation.

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During this seminar, experts from both sides of the Atlantic discussed and debated key ideas and mechanisms for reducing global carbon emissions and containing costs. Panelists addressed the debate between the cap and trade system and carbon tax as well as internationalizing efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The speakers noted that effective market measures are critical to making real progress and that the continuing debate between cap and trade and carbon tax measures is crucial for driving innovation and investment.

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Leading experts from both sides of the Atlantic discussed the re-emergence of nuclear power as a complementary asset in the drive to de-carbonize energy resources. In addition to evaluating current demand for nuclear power and the relative cost and capacity issues inherent in the industry's expansion, participants also addressed the challenge of nuclear safety and waste disposal, as well as the current financial and regulatory environments.

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This blog post is based on two articles that appeared in Le Monde on August 4th, 2009.

Paris is priding itself on inventing an economic incentive to revive car sales while cutting carbon emissions. This economic-stimulus plan – called “cash for clunkers” – has now been copied in other European countries and in the United States.

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