World economy may doom signing of 2009 U.N. climate change pact

From Reuters on Monday, December 8, 2008:

Recession and the change of U.S. administration make it unlikely the world will meet a 2009 deadline for agreeing a full new pact to fight global warming, delegates at U.N. climate talks say.

A year ago, 190 nations signed up for a two-year push to agree a comprehensive climate treaty at talks in Copenhagen in late 2009. But negotiators and analysts attending preparatory December 1-12 talks in Poznan say that looks out of reach.

The most that many now hope for is agreement next year on the principles of a pact, though a few say this is too pessimistic.

“A suitable aspiration and a great achievement (in Copenhagen) would be agreement on the principles for negotiation, not a text,” said Robert Stavins, professor of business and government at Harvard University.

Recession means that developed nations’ greenhouse gas emissions will fall by about 2 percent next year, making other action less urgent, he said.

The 2009 deadline is meant to ensure that new targets for cutting emissions are in place in good time to allow worldwide ratification before Kyoto Protocol goals expire in 2012.

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One comment

  1. It seems to me that the new emphasis on the green economy/green jobs/green infrastructure here in the US may yet achieve the goals of such a pact, even if the actual document doesn’t get signed.

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