Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Negotiating over climate gets increasingly desperate

Here is a very brief update from the saga of climate change politics over the last two days.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel speakes to a joint session of Congress and pleads for action on climate change to silence from Republicans and cheers from Democrats.
  • EU leaders including the British Prime Minister call on the US to contribute to an aid fund for developing nations to adapt to climate change.
  • European Commission President meets with President Obama to ask for US action before Copenhagen - which will be a "defining moment" for world leaders.
  • At climate talks in Spain, a coalition of African nations boycotts talks until developed nations agree to significant cuts in carbon emissions.
  • In the US, Senate Republicans boycott the Environment and Public Works Committee mark-up session - threatening to walk out until the EPA gives them more economic analysis.
  • Senate Republicans are still absent from the EPW committee, delaying a final committee vote. The Senate Majority leader has pledged to do a full economic summary of the bill when it is ready for the Senate floor, but this has not and will not move Republican leaders.
  • The bill will not reach the Senate floor for several months and definitely not before December 7th (the start of international negotiations).
  • Africans have rejoined the conversation in Spain after assurances that developing nations would negotiate on carbon emissions.
  • Senators Kerry and Graham are meeting with Obama officials to get their position on nuclear energy - and may be ready to compromise with the nuclear and oil industries.
Where is the US, and will Obama go to Copenhagen? Sources say he will go, but may not agree to firm targets without the backing of Congress.

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