Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No Climate Agreements From Copenhagen & U.S. Senate

Feedback from President Obama's Asia trip signalled that there will be no climate change agreement from the upcoming Copenhagen, Denmark United Nations conference. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has also announced that climate change legislation will not be brought to the Senate floor until at least the Spring of 2010.

The next annual meeting of U.N. environment ministers is scheduled for December 2010 in Mexico. The U.N.'s existing Kyoto Protocol's curbs on emissions by industrialised countries ends on Dec. 31, 2012. In December 1997, the world agreed on the Kyoto Protocol in the Japanese city of the same name. That deal was then sent to national parliaments for ratification and 187 nations ratified the treaty. Washington never ratified it.

One week of U.N. climate talks in Barcelona from Nov. 2 to 6, the Asia Pacific Economic Partnership (APEC) meetings in Singapore November 8-15 and the upcoming Copenhagen conference from Dec. 7-18 could not produce a framework for an emissions reductions agreement.

China and India want industrialized countries to agree to cuts in CO2 emissions of at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, far more than average cuts included in Congressional legislation. The Boxer/Kerry climate legislation in the Senate requires emissions cuts of 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and the Waxman/Markey legislation passed in the House calls for a 17% reduction by 2020. China, India and African nations also want billions of dollars in aid and new technology. (WSJ, 11/18/09, Time, 11/17/09, Reuter, 10/27/09))

No comments: