Copenhagen may not see any real agreement on greenhouse gases

That's the conclusion of Britain's lead environmental official. He thinks the barriers to reaching agreement on how to pay for reduction of emissions is too high a hurdle to overcome in less than fifty days.

That's the conclusion of Britain's lead environmental official. He thinks the barriers to reaching agreement on how to pay for reduction of emissions is too high a hurdle to overcome in less than fifty days. The British Prime Minister already tried scolding fellow heads of state. That got a big yawn in response.

Even the UN's chief climate official says there will not be a formal agreement reached in Copenhagen but the conference will set forth the political framework to allow progress on the issue. The U.N. really wants to see President Obama attend the meeting as a sign the U.S. will participate seriously in the climate talks after Copenhagen. It has not been confirmed that Obama will, or will not, attend.

The Copenhagen conference begins December 7th and is aimed at an international agreement to replace the current Kyoto Protocol that expires in less than fifteen months. Neither China nor the U.S. ratified the Kyoto pact. They are the earth's two largest producers of CO2 emissions.

China now says it is committed to alternative energy production and reducing its dependence on high-emission coal burning. About 40% of its current $646 billion stimulus package is slated to go to alternative energy. By comparison the U.S. stimulus put less than 15% toward that end.

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