Report says global climate deal hinges on Obama reelection

Prospects for striking a binding global climate deal by 2015 are probably toast if President Obama loses in November.

That’s among the conclusions in a wide-ranging, new climate and green energy outlook from banking giant HSBC’s research branch.


A major outcome from the United Nations climate talks in December was a plan to craft a deal by 2015 — one that would include big, developing nations such as China — and have it come into force by 2020.

But Obama’s main Republican White House rivals are critical of emissions limits and skeptical of climate science. HSBC predicts an international agreement by 2015 is highly unlikely if Obama loses the election. From their research note:

[T]he prospects for a new global climate deal in 2015 depend considerably on the election of a pro-climate action president. The election of a President opposed to climate action will not only damage growth prospects for low-carbon solutions in the USA itself, but will make the hard task of negotiating a new global agreement by 2015 almost impossible.

The report finds that elections will have consequences in other nations too. In France, for instance, HSBC notes that opposition Socialists and Greens want to sharply cut the country’s dependence on nuclear power from 75 percent in 2010 to 50 percent in 2025.

Here’s a bit more:

If implemented, this would mark a more decisive shift against nuclear than the post-Fukushima decision in Germany to accelerate nuclear phase-out. The future of nuclear also lies at the heart of possible elections in Japan, where Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has indicated that a general election could be called after the tax bill which is due in March. Elsewhere, two presidents closely linked with ‘green growth’ are stepping down — Calderon in Mexico and Lee in Korea — creating uncertainty about future commitments. 

Click here for the whole report.