02/28/2009 - Until recently, the idea that the world’s most powerful nations might come together to tackle global warming seemed an environmentalist’s pipe dream.
The Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, was widely viewed as badly flawed. Many countries that signed the accord lagged far behind their targets in curbing carbon dioxide emissions. The United States refused even to ratify it. And the treaty gave a pass to major emitters in the developing world like China and India.
But within weeks of taking office, President Obama has radically shifted the global equation, placing the United States at the forefront of the international climate effort and raising hopes that an effective international accord might be possible. Mr. Obama’s chief climate negotiator, Todd Stern, said last week that the United States would be involved in the negotiation of a new treaty — to be signed in Copenhagen in December — “in a robust way.”
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“This is not just about emissions but about creating a massive investment in a new global energy economy” that includes forests, oceans and the transfer of technology, said Angela Anderson, director of the Pew Environment Group’s Global Warming Campaign.
Read the full article Obama’s Backing Raises Hopes for Climate Pact on the New York Times' Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the main Pew Campaign on Global Warming page.