The Washington Post editorialized today that the Copenhagen Accord, “however imperfect, should prod the U.S. Senate to take up climate-change legislation. Even if China hadn’t moved, reducing America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy and tackling domestic pollution are strong enough reasons to pass a bill.” Guest blogger Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at CAPAF, explains why.
The 15th United Nations climate summit has just ended in Copenhagen after a tense two weeks of negotiations between the developed and developing world. An “environmental Woodstock” to some, a high stakes diplomatic showdown to others, the meeting led to some critical but incomplete agreements.
Now that it’s over, the world’s attention will focus on the United States Senate as it plans to consider clean energy and global warming legislation in 2010. The newly inked Copenhagen Accord, along with other factors, increases the odds for Senate passage of clean energy jobs and global warming legislation.
The Copenhagen Accord should form the basis for future negotiations that hope to culminate in an international agreement to reduce global warming pollution in levels sufficient enough to prevent a 2 degree centigrade (3.6 Fahrenheit) warming. The Accord should also contribute to passage of a Senate clean energy and global warming bill. The Accord includes two provisions that address some undecided Senators’ concerns about pollution reductions from China and India. In advance of the summit, these two nations made their first commitment to reduce the rate of pollution compared to their economies. Obviously, these two emerging economic powers could do more to reduce the rapidly rising emissions, but these levels of reductions are a good start.