Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Is Copenhagen Becoming A Warm Up Act?

The delay in the U.S. Senate until September to consider climate change legislation combined with significant environmental group opposition to Waxman/Markey [American Clean Energy & Security Act (ACES)], is setting up the stage for the U.S. to not have a legal framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions going into the international climate change meeting in Copenhagen in December.

US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing, right in photo, believes the Copenhagen talks won't fail, but told that they "will likely be inadequate." Pershing's comments [summarized] before the Committee on America's Climate Choices, which Congress directed the National Academy of Science to convene:

Instead of December's meeting in Copenhagen, Pershing expects real components of climate change to come from 2010 meetings, likely to be held in Mexico. Recommendations from Copenhagen, however, should provide what Pershing called "real space for doing an agreement." Whatever results from global climate talks, Pershing expects it be different from the Kyoto Protocol's reliance on a central authority to assign greenhouse caps. Instead, the next global plan likely would begin with development of various domestic plans, which ultimately would be amassed into a single global deal. The U.S. can't look to blame the world for lack of progress on climate talks. Indeed, the lack of comprehensive climate legislation in the U.S. has other nation's holding their cards. It's generally agreed that the U.S., as the biggest emitter, must take the lead. Then, the U.S. must reach an agreement with China, which is not far behind the U.S. in emissions.

[Photo: Pershing on right with his boss, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern]

(, 7/14/09)

[Pershing Remarks at June 12 Bonn Meeting]

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