Climate change is front and center on both the domestic and international public policy stages. This past summer, the U.S. House of Representatives passed sweeping energy and climate legislation, and now the action is in the U.S. Senate, where the Environment and Public Works Committee has moved the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act out of committee and several other committees are weighing similar proposals. On the international front, ministers from 192 countries will gather at the  United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP 15), to lay the groundwork for a legally binding global climate change agreement that will succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Negotiators certainly won’t resolve all details of an international treaty in Copenhagen. But the expected outcome is a political agreement on four key issues that will drive the negotiations over the next year: emission reduction targets for industrialized countries; actions developing countries will commit to; financing to help developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change; and a system for deploying technology and finance to reduce emissions.

No doubt the business community has a lot at stake in the debate. Outcomes from both the U.S. legislative action and the international treaty negotiations will have far-reaching impacts on competitiveness, trade and investment. Not to mention the emission allowances and offset credits in a new carbon market will be worth billions of dollars to businesses as they plan to meet national emission reduction goals and comply with greenhouse gas pollution control measures.

Leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP 15), FD is launching Copenhagen Crossroads: Insight and Perspectives, a blog featuring global business leaders, NGOs and government officials focusing on the key issues of the UN talks and their impact on business.

Below are the most recent posts:

In the coming weeks, I look forward to sharing with you real-time updates from Copenhagen via Twitter and through other post-conference forums. Together, we’ll discuss the implications of this monumental event: What do the outcomes mean for each specific region, country and sector? How do the U.S. and EU view the outcomes and obligations? And how will the momentum coming out of Copenhagen play out in 2010, leading up to Mexico City?

Having staffed clients at Bali and Poznan — the UN Climate Conferences held prior to Copenhagen — business leaders expect a credible and insightful understanding of what is at stake and what is in play at Copenhagen and beyond.  I look forward to a real-time dialogue on this milestone event.

Lawrence Pacheco is a vice president in FD’s Washington office with 16 years of public relations and policy experience. He lends his expertise to clients such as Shell Oil Company, FutureGen Alliance, Algenol Biofuels, Salt River Project and the Center for Clean Air Policy. Prior to joining FD in May 2007, Lawrence served on Capitol Hill as communications director to U.S. Representative Mark Udall.



FD SHIFT is a global forum for public policy and public affairs perspectives.

FD SHIFT provides policymakers, industry leaders and stakeholders with a forum to share their analysis of the critical policy issues facing business and government across the globe. FD, one of the world’s most highly regarded consultancies in the communications industry, wants to help build substance and foster thought leadership in public policy debate.

To contribute your point of view, contact us at

Follow Lawrence on Twitter … Live From Copenhagen!


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