November 2009


The White House announced on Wednesday that President Obama will travel to Copenhagen on December 9th to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference.  Battling Climage Change is a top priority in the Obama Administration, and it has been very obvious in the impressive resume of action and accomplishments that have been developed over the past 10 months.  As part of the lead up to the COP15 in December, here are a few examples of U.S. Domestic and International Leadership.

DOMESTIC LEADERSHIP

Recovery Act: The U.S. is investing more than $80 billion in clean energy through its Recovery Act – including the largest-ever investment in renewable energy, which will double our generation of clean renewable energy like wind and solar in three years.

Efficiency Standard for Automobiles: President Obama announced the first ever joint fuel economy/greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks in May. The new standards are projected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program with a fuel economy gain averaging more than 5 percent per year and a reduction of approximately 900 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions.

Advancing Comprehensive Energy Legislation: Passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation is a top priority for the Administration and significant progress has been made. In June, The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act that will promote clean energy investments and lower U.S. greenhouse gas emissions more than 80 percent by 2050. The Senate continues to advance their efforts to pass comprehensive legislation and move the U.S. closer to a system of clean energy incentives that create new energy jobs, reduce our dependence on oil, and cut pollution.

Appliance Efficiency Standards: The Obama Administration has forged more stringent energy efficiency standards for commercial and residential appliances, including microwaves, kitchen ranges, dishwashers, lightbulbs and other common appliances. This common sense approach makes improved efficiency a manufacturing requirement for the everyday appliances used in practically every home and business, resulting in a significant reduction in energy use. Altogether, about two dozen new energy efficiency standards will be completed in the next few years.

Offshore Energy Development: Within the Administration’s first 100 days, a new regulatory framework was established to facilitate the development of alternative energy projects in an economic and environmentally sound manner that allows us to tap into the vast energy potential of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The National Renewable Energy Lab estimates that development of wind energy alone on the OCS may provide an additional 1,900 gigawatts of clean energy to the U.S.

Emissions Inventory Rule: For the first time, the U.S. will catalogue greenhouse gas emissions from large emission sources – an important initial step toward measurable and transparent reductions.

INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP

The Major Economies Forum (MEF): President Obama launched the MEF in March 2009, creating a new dialogue among developed and emerging economies to combat climate change and promote clean energy. At the July L’Aquila summit, MEF Leaders announced important new agreements to support the UN climate talks and launched a new Global Partnership to promote clean energy technologies.

Eliminating Fossil Fuel Subsidies: The President spearheaded an agreement at the Pittsburgh G20 summit for all G20 nations to phase out their fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term and to work with other countries to do the same. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations followed the G20 lead at their summit in Singapore, expanding the number of countries committing to these subsidies. According to the International Energy Agency, this measure alone could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent or more by 2050.

Bilateral Energy and Climate Partnerships: The U.S. is accelerating its collaboration with China, India, Mexico, Canada and other key international partners to combat climate change, coordinate clean energy research and development, and support the international climate talks.

Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas: President Obama proposed a partnership with our neighbors in the western hemisphere to advance energy security and combat climate change. An early product of this cooperation is Chile’s Renewable Energy Center, which receives technical support from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Phasing Down HFCs (Hydrofluorocarbons): The U.S. joined Canada and Mexico in proposing to phase-down HFC emissions, a very potent greenhouse gas, in developed and developing countries under the Montreal Protocol. This represents a down payment of about 10% of the emission reductions necessary to cut global greenhouse gas emissions to half their current levels by 2050.

Kolja Saksida (Slowenia) - ArtsLink 2008 - w MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) w Nowym Jorku

Nowojorska organizacja CEC ArtsLink, jeszcze do 1 grudnia, 2009 roku przyjmuje podania na dwa bardzo ciekawe programy: ArtsLink Residencies 2010 i ArtsLink Independent Projects.  ArtsLink Residencies to elitarny,
5-tygodniowy program rezydencji
w jednej z uznanych organizacji artystycznych w Stanach Zjednoczonych, gdzie artyści przyjeżdżający z zagranicy współpracują z goszczącymi ich Amerykanami.   ArtsLink Independent Projects to osobny program w ramach którego oferowane są dotacje w wysokości do 5 tys. USD przeznaczone na konkretne projekty dla wybranych kandydatów spełniających odpowiednie kryteria.  Tutaj można znaleźć więcej informacji na temat kryteriów i wymaganej dokumentacji (informacje po angielsku). 

Ze względu na ogromne zainteresowanie programem i dużą konkurencję, należy spodziewać się rygorystycznego procesu selekcji kandydatów, jednak gorąco zachęcamy do składania podań.

The U.S. Embassy and the Polish-American Fulbright Commission will sponsor a conference on Perspectives in Polish – U.S. Academic Exchange, at the Warsaw University Library (ul. Dobra 56/60) on November 18th.  The conference is part of International Education Week, announced by the State Department and EducationUSA program.  The morning session is tailored to representatives of Polish universities, scholars and international relations offices, while the afternoon session to prospective Polish students. The conference will expand knowledge on the many possibilities of academic cooperation between the United States and Poland and will continue the dialogue on exchanges among universities and students from Poland and United States. Speakers will include Counselor for Press and Culture Lisa Helling; Cultural Attaché Chuck Ashley; a representative of the Consular Section of the Embassy; Dr. Donald C. Martin, the author of the ‘Road Map for Graduate Study’; current Fulbrighters (Polish and U.S. university professors and scholars) as well as a representative of The Kosciuszko Foundation and Fulbright Executive Director Andrzej Dakowski.

Various brochures, leaflets and publications on education in the US, scholarships and financial aid for international students will also be available.

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is in Germany today to mark the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that symbolizes the collapse of communism throughout Europe, a process in which Poland played a leading role. To mark this historic event, the Atlantic Council hosted the “Freedom’s Challenge: A Gala Banquet and Awards Ceremony” yesterday in Berlin, which was attended by Lech Walesa on behalf of the Polish people.  Secretary Clinton attended the gala as keynote speaker.  View the Secretary’s Travel Diary Blog on visiting Berlin (in English).

Also view the Department of State’s International Information Program’s Publication: The Berlin Wall: 20 Years Later (in English), which highlights events that led to the collapse of communism in Poland and throughout Central and Eastern Europe. 

 “I Will Remember That Day All My Life” by Adam Michnik

Excerpt: “I wrote it was a great holiday: In the perennial struggle between man and barbed wire, today man triumphed and the barbed wire was defeated.”

“Those Were The Days, My Friend” by Anna Husarska

Excerpt: “November 9, 1989, is the date most potently associated with the end of the unjust oppression of half of Europe. But the Wall began to crack back in 1980 when the Polish trade union Solidarity was created at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk…”

Legacy of 1989 Must Be Defended by Janusz Bugajski

Excerpt:  “Although Solidarity was temporarily stifled and driven underground, its mass membership and farsighted leadership demonstrated that the days of Soviet-imposed communism were numbered.”

   Know America

To już siódma edycja konkursu „Know America”!

Zapraszamy  młodzież licealną z całej Polski do sprawdzenia i pogłębienia swojej wiedzy na temat Stanów Zjednoczonych. Do wygrania trzydniowy program w Warszawie i wiele innych nagród.

Jeden ze zwycięzców weźmie udział w Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute, intensywym trzy-, czterotygodniowym programie edukacyjnym w Stanach Zjednoczonych.  W 2008 roku ponad 1000 uczniów szkół średnich wzięło udział w konkursie. Konkurs „Know America” sprawdza wiedzę uczestników z wielu dziedzin amerykańskiej kultury w tym: historii, geografii, sztuki i pop kultury, jak również problemów społecznych, etnicznych i religijnych. Konkurs „Know America” odbywa się w dwóch etapach: pierwszy to egzamin z 80 pytaniami wielokrotnego wyboru, etap drugi to esej.

UWAGA:  Zgłoszenia przyjmowane są tylko do 14 listopada!