President Barack Obama’s decision to attend the climate talks in Copenhagen next week, at the end of the process rather than at the beginning, is said to show the White House is serious about pursuing a deal to curb global warming.
(Updated with comments from Dr. Gidon Eshel, physics professor, Bard College)
On the first day of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleared the way for regulation of greenhouse gases without new laws passed by Congress, reflecting President Barack Obama’s commitment to act on climate change.
It was as I lay in a Singapore hospital bed — ablaze with dengue fever but shivering in a sweat that chilled my aching bones — that I began to understand why villagers in a remote part of Indonesia would trade their forest for decent health services.
Energy efficiency will have to make the single most-important contribution if policymakers are serious about limiting greenhouse gas emissions and dampening growing demand for fossil fuels.
As hopes for reaching a binding agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the Copenhagen summit die, climate negotiators could learn useful lessons on how to structure the negotiations from the multiple rounds of trade talks within the GATT/WTO framework.
Even if a deal is reached among political delegates at the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen, it is unlikely to set out specific emission targets, says Mike Hulme, author of "Why We Disagree About Climate Change" and a professor at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
Last year, when G8 leaders agreed a “vision” of halving world greenhouse gases by 2050 at a summit in Tokyo, Japan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel looked around the table and wondered aloud if any of them would still be around to ensure the plan worked — or held to account if it didn’t.