by Jeff McMahon
Nov. 25, 2009
Blue Marble (Planet
Courtesy: NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center
First the climate bill was
dead, then the climate bill was
not dead yet, then Copenhagen
dead, then Copenhagen was
not dead yet, and now itís all back
on the table, right where President Obama said it would be: a
legally binding climate treaty calling for an ambitious reduction in
carbon dioxide - 83 percent by 2050.
Patience, people, patience.
Obamaís call for such a treaty today closely follows three other
His announcement that heíll
attend the Copenhagen Climate Conference on Dec. 9 to call
for the treaty in person.
always said that his
decision to attend would depend on the likelihood of a
treaty being signed, and the likelihood of a treaty being
signed would be worked out behind the scenes in
meetings between diplomats from the U.S. and other major
But not only is Obama attending,
according to the White House:
"Interior Secretary Ken
Salazar, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce
Secretary Gary Locke, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P.
Jackson are all scheduled to attend, along with Council
on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, and
Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change
Obamaís announcement follows key
meetings between Obama and the leaders of China and India,
the two developing nations whose participation in the treaty
is most essential to its success.
The treaty Obama has called for
matches the climate bill that already passed the
House and the one likely to pass the Senate: not the bill
that passed the Senate Environment and Public Works
Committee, but the one likely to be worked out in a
compromise with that billís sole no vote, Sen.
Both the House bill and the
likely Baucus compromise call for a 17 percent reduction
in greenhouse gases by 2020.
"For the first time, the
U.S. delegation will have a U.S. Center at the
conference, providing a unique and interactive forum to
share our story with the world.
In addition to working with
other countries to advance American interests, U.S.
delegates will keynote a series of events highlighting
actions by the Obama Administration to provide domestic
and global leadership in the transition to a clean
Topics will range from
energy efficiency investments and global commitments to
renewables policy and clean energy jobs."