Hopes High in Climate Fight as Obama Takes Lead

US to take major role in new environmental treaty
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 1, 2009 11:40 AM CST
President Barack Obama smiles as he prepares to sign an executive order dealing with energy independence and climate change, Monday, Jan. 26, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – The Kyoto Protocol signed more than a decade ago faced roadblocks to achieving its environmental goals—but with President Obama pushing hard on climate change, new international agreements could be much stronger, the New York Times reports. Obama has placed the US “at the forefront of the international climate effort,” writes Elisabeth Rosenthal, and the country will be deeply involved in developing a new treaty, said a climate official.

The new treaty, set to be signed in Copenhagen in December, will add “financial mechanisms” to the battle against climate change. And the US’ new lead role in the fight has fueled a surge in environmental diplomacy worldwide. “The No. 1 thing will be for everyone to see that the US is on an urgent and transformational path to a low carbon economy—that would have a galvanizing effect,” said a British official.