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Pam Faggert
Vice President and Chief Environmental Officer, Dominion

Pam Faggert

Pam Faggert is vice president and chief environmental officer for Richmond, Va.-based Dominion, one of the nation’s largest energy companies. She previously was director for Air Division of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. ALL POSTS

Copenhagen is one step in a long journey

Progress on greenhouse gas emissions can't and won't hinge on one conference or one agreement. The issue is too complex and needs to move ahead on multiple fronts. There is no "one size fits all."

For those reasons, the likelihood that Copenhagen will not produce a binding global agreement is not as dire as some would have it. What is important is that progress continues, and there is plenty of evidence of that. A "political agreement," as postulated in this week's question, would be progress.

So are the joint initiatives announced this week by the world's two largest greenhouse gas emitters, the United States and China, to work together to accelerate deployment of renewable energy, promote energy efficiency and launch a U.S.-China clean energy research center.

It should be seen as good news that no matter whether the U.S. gets comprehensive energy policy legislation or more-targeted legislation, there clearly is a broad desire in Congress and the White House to move forward on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, the Alexander-Webb legislation introduced this week is an effort to ensure that U.S. efforts do not get stalled. Dominion applauds the work of the senators. We agree that nuclear energy must play an important role in meeting the nation's energy needs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As the Chinese proverb says, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. What it leaves unsaid is that many, many more steps - not a single leap - are needed to complete the journey.

Copenhagen should be viewed as another important step in the journey, not a failure because it does not get to the journey's end.

By Pam Faggert  |  November 20, 2009; 6:08 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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