New appointment to Obama’s CC team

Will John Podesta’s transition from a White House “outside advisor” to an official “inside advisor” have an impact on the next round of ADP discussions coming up in March, 2014?

john podestaAs this Grist article notes, Podesta is a veteran political insider, having served both the Clinton and Obama administrations before taking up his position at the Center for American Progress (CAP).  While it’s reported that his portfolio will include health care, his real focus is expected to be on climate change, specifically on seeing the President’s Climate Action Plan through by getting the maximum use of executive power to push the U.S. to lower its GHG emissions.

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The US team at the penultimate ADP negotiation session at COP19.

Grist emphasizes Podesta’s vocal opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, but I’m more curious about his potential impact on Stern’s negotiating team and its approach to the upcoming meeting in Bonn.  Given the shift to nationally determined commitments, a country’s domestic climate change policies are critical to the shape and scope of a new international agreement.  This recent report from CAP indicates that the U.S. is in a neck-and-neck race with China and Germany for first place in the “green revolution” leaders’ circle.  It concludes by proposing “that the United States take advantage of its true national strengths: the ability to innovate from the state and local levels up, and to combine policies that work for different regions of the country into a coherent whole. … an integrated set of regional energy strategies. This is our competitive edge.”

***  Hat tip to LLM candidate Heather Croshaw for alerting me to this Grist article.  ***