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Overtime in Copenhagen--We Are Not Done Yet

Dan Lashof

Posted December 18, 2009

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As the Copenhagen talks approach their official end point the outcome still remains unclear and negotiators are being urged by conference officials to change their travel plans.

This has been an unprecedented meeting that has brought 125 heads of state, 45,000 participants, 100,000 marchers, and 11 million petition signatures to bear on global warming. Chinese Premier Wen and President Obama addressed the assembled dignitaries today. Wen reiterated China’s commitment to reduce its emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45% by 2020. President Obama delivered a strong message, saying that he came “not to talk, but to act.” He outlined the three key elements of the deal we need to move forward: commitments to reduce emissions, transparency to review implementation of those commitments, and financing to reduce deforestation and help the most vulnerable people adapt to the impacts of global warming that can no longer be avoided. Progress has been made on all of these fronts, and yet an overall deal remains in allusive.

We knew this would be a tough meeting going in. Without a domestic law in hand, or at least a comprehensive bill that has cleared the Senate, the United States is in a relatively weak position.

Negotiations are still going on and it is still likely that some kind of political declaration will come out of Copenhagen late Friday or sometime on Saturday. One thing is clear, whatever the outcome our work is not done yet. We need to use the focus on global warming created by Copenhagen to get legislation enacted before the end of this Congress and move forward with action, not words, to reduce emissions in all major countries.

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Elsa RosasDec 19 2009 11:09 PM


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