Leaders Punt on Copenhagen Deal

Acknowledge gaps too far to bridge before climate change summit
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2009 12:04 PM CST
Smoke rises from cooling towers at a coal-fired power plant in Kaifeng, in central China's Henan province, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Just 22 days ahead of Copenhagen, President Obama and other leaders have declared that a meaningful and binding international deal is unlikely to come out of the climate change conference. The move, as the New York Times reports, sets the bar much lower and effectively delays the most treacherous issues until a second conference in Mexico City.

“I don’t think the negotiations have proceeded in such a way that any of the leaders thought it was likely that we were going to achieve a final agreement in Copenhagen," said a senior US official. One key stumbling point: The US Congress' lack of progress on climate change legislation. Without those standards in place, the Times notes, other nations are reluctant to commit to their own.