Lead Tracker – Ben Jervey
Ben Jervey works to better communicate climate, energy, and environmental issues to mainstream audiences. He writes a weekly column for GOOD Magazine called “The New Ideal,” and has freelanced for many other magazines, newspapers, and websites.
Ben has also worked with many environment, education, and clean energy non-profit organizations. He serves as Community Editor of OnEarth Magazine, where he is launching an environmental citizen journalism platform. His reporting and work on climate change and clean energy have brought him from the streets of New York to the glaciers of eastern Greenland, to the mountain villages of Vietnam. A few years back he wrote a book–The Big Green Apple–on living a lower impact life in New York City. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe
The US Delegation
The US climate negotiating efforts from Bonn through Copenhagen are being lead by Jonathan Pershing, the Deputy Envoy on Climate Change. Pershing’s a longtime veteran of international negotiations with 30 years of experience under his belt working on climate and energy issues. Technically speaking, Todd Stern, as the State Department’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, is the head of the team, but on the ground at the talks, Pershing is steering the ship. (Stern has been all over the world meeting bilaterally with foreign governments and has been instrumental in hammering out some key energy and climate partnerships and agreements.)
Worth noting: Pershing was a lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (and, thus, a Nobel Prize winner along with his colleagues and Al Gore), working specifically on Chapter 13 in Working Group III, which, translated from wonk-speak, chapter that famously stated that Annex I countries as a group need to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 25-40% from 1990 levels by 2020. (See page 776, Box 13.7.) He also served as Director of World Resources Institute’s Climate and Energy Program for nearly six years, and before that as head of the energy and environment division at the International Energy Agency. Clearly, Pershing is someone who understands and respects what the science demands. And I don’t for a moment envy his assignment for Copenhagen, as a State Department-appointed negotiator charged with representing a US position that is, due to domestic politics, far from that which physics and chemistry tell us is necessary, and far inadequate to most of the international community.