Tuesday, April 13, 2010

U.N. Climate Negotiators Facing Crucial Test

United Nations climate change negotiators agreed Sunday to hold more sessions aimed at bridging differences left unresolved by last December's contentious talks in Copenhagen.

While some developing nations signaled support this week for the accord reached in Copenhagen, others questioned the role of the accord in future talks. EDF’s International Counsel Annie Petsonk, who monitored the talks in Bonn this weekend, said:

The U.N. climate negotiations are facing a crucial test over whether this process can serve as the global guidance system for tackling climate change.

There is still momentum in the U.N. process, but it is fragmenting. In the absence of U.S. legislation, and with the corresponding slow progress in the U.N., there is a new focus on national action as talks continue toward a global agreement.

This fragmentation presents challenges, but it also creates opportunities, as nations that move swiftly to embrace carbon regulation position themselves for economic growth in the 21st century. That competition presents an even greater imperative for the Obama administration to make a serious push for a balanced energy-climate bill in the U.S. Senate.

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