Time for decisions: The climate train picks up steam for Copenhagen (2009)

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For climate politics, 2009 will be a year setting the switches for our future course. The prelude was given by the UN climate summit, which took place in Poznan shortly before the end of last year. There, the international "climate train" reached its minimum goals, creating the formal preconditions for the achievement of an ambitious post-2012 global deal twelve months later in Copenhagen. At the same time, it became clear that central players lack the political will to actually achieve this kind of wide-reaching international deal. However, the US administration has sent a different signal in the first weeks of its time in office. One should be curious to see how much dynamic will unfold from the US this year. Particularly interesting is an initiative for an ambitious roadmap for the USA and China for national and international climate protection, launched by the US energy minister (himself of Chinese descent) before his appointment.2 It would be a piece of staircase wit for history, if the EU got weak knees in the fight against climate change now, and became dependent on these two countries for renewable energies and energy efficient technology, instead of joining in and creating this new dynamic. Given the positions and personnel of the new US as well Chinese governments, both of which are recognizing more and more the risks of climate change, it no longer seems impossible that the USA, China and the EU, alone or in consultation with each other, could present a really ambitious climate plan, with a willingness for serious climate protection action "at home", and a large-scale cooperation, as well as strategic inputs, i.e. offer of support and cooperation, for the international climate negotiations. The UN climate negotiations need this kind of impulse; as this chapter demonstrates, outlining the current situation in the negotiations and giving, furthermore, a perspective on the steps, which still need to be taken on the way to Copenhagen.
Year: 2009
Language: English
In: Chapter written by Germanwatch for the German edition of the Worldwatch Report "State of the World 2009", launched April 28th, 2009, Berlin: http://www.germanwatch.org/,

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 Record created 2011-12-21, last modified 2013-01-17