New draft proposals at the Copenhagen summit have renewed optimism that negotiators will find consensus on a substantial deal. One plan would renew and extend the Kyoto protocol—this time, presumably, with a US endorsement—which is set to expire in 2012. Another draft proposal, framed as a "Kyoto companion" calls for more action from developing countries, which get something of a pass in the Kyoto agreement.
The new deals "take huge steps forward from where we’ve been,” says the climate director of the WWF. But negotiators for developed countries caution the drafts have yet to address a key concern: whether China and India will actually implement their proposed climate change cuts, and submit to international monitoring to confirm that they are. Nonetheless, climate envoy Todd Stern tells the LA Times he doesn't think the US and China "are all that far apart, based on the conversations we’ve had.”
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