|See my CLIMATE page|
My heart is with those who have so far been marginalized in the discussion, but I need also to wrap my head around what the actual negotiators are doing, since our fate -- so far -- rests in their words and deeds. Two stories on the November 29 All Things Considered program serve to outline the major considerations in some detail. As Kyoto Protocol Ends describes the limitations that were inherent in the Kyoto agreement, which is binding, but only on countries representing 20 percent of carbon emissions. Of the major polluters, only the European Union is actually following the agreement. The subsequent interview with Todd Stern may cause some alarm. This U.S. climate negotiator does not consider success an option, if success is measured as a binding treaty, but he does count non-binding agreements announced in Cancun as successes.
To his credit, Stern does recognize that the United States is increasingly isolated; in the rest of the world people might disagree on how to share the burden of climate remedies, but the need to act is widely accepted.
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