Copenhagen Talks Will [Doom] [Save] World

It's a numbers game now for world leaders
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2009 3:15 PM CST
Smokestacks in Dniprodzershynsk, Ukraine.   (AP Photo/John McConnico)

(Newser) – Copenhagen now boils down to a preposterously simple numbers game, writes Michael McCarthy. The draft text released yesterday leaves momentous decisions like how much to limit carbon emissions as choices surrounded by square brackets. Take the long-term target for cutting CO2 emissions, for instance. Should nations cut them by [50] [85] [95] percent from 1990 levels by 2020? Or the increase in world temperature: It shouldn't exceed [2 degrees C] [1.5 degrees C].

"Never in history have such momentous choices for all our futures been encapsulated in a few rows of adjacent punctuation marks," writes McCarthy in the Independent. Generally speaking, the draft text "reflects the scale of what the world needs to do to bring global warming to a halt—at the upper end of the choices."

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