Thursday, 21 January 2010

A Copenhagen promise that lasted 33 days


In the rushed negotiations to salvage something from December’s United Nations Climate Change Conference ”the heads of state, heads of government, ministers, and other heads of the following delegations present” came up with what they called the Copenhagen Accord, which is operational immediately. Perhaps the major part of substance in that accord was this:
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That January 31 deadline for all countries to officially state their emission reduction targets or list the actions they planned to take to counter climate change has now been dropped. So far only 20 countries (including Australia) out of 192 have signed up. Overnight, Yvo de Boer, UN climate change chief, said: “It’s a soft deadline. Countries are not being asked to sign the accord to take on legally binding targets, only to indicate their intention.”
With Democrats in the United States Senate now without the required 60 votes to stop Republican filibusters, the prospect of the US becoming a signatory to Copenhagen are not high. And without the US, the world’s major carbon emitting polluter, other countries are unlikely to be in a hurry.
Another reason, I would think, not to make emissions trading legislation Labor’s crucial piece of legislation.
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