As reports have indicated for the past several weeks, a binding agreement won't be reached in Copenhagen this December. Leaders attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation this past weekend met and decided that the Copenhagen conference would be used to come up with an interim "politically" binding agreement and to set a date and time for a legally binding one sometime next year.
The goal of cutting global emissions by 50 percent by 2050 has been scrapped and instead a 2007 goal of reducing energy intensity - emissions per unit of economic output - by 25 percent by 2030 is being restated, but again, it won't be binding.
A big reason for the push back is Congress's inaction on a climate change bill this year. Without a clear commitment from the U.S. to cut emissions, other countries are hesitant to make any pledges of their own. In the past few days, members of Congress have said a decision on a climate bill won't happen before the first half of 2010.
For those of us who were keeping our hopes up for a significant agreement to come out of Copenhagen and for a climate bill this year, this news is incredibly disappointing. One positive thing to hold onto is that the administration seems determined to make some progress even while Congress falters, most notably with the EPA gearing up to regulate greenhouse emissions starting in 2011.
via NY Times
Image via APEC Singapore 2009
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