December 15, 2007

An unexpected dramatic reversal

Didn't want to put an update to an update at my earlier post and in any case, this is such a welcome change from the disappointment of the last two weeks that it deserves a separate post, I say...even if it does not really commit the US to anything: "Still, it does not bind the United States or any country to commitments on reducing greenhouse pollution. It starts a negotiation that allows but doesn't require an outcome where the U.S. takes a cap, or a national limit on greenhouse gases."

U.S. reversal under pressure leads to climate deal
In a tumultuous final session at international climate talks in which the U.S. delegates were booed and hissed, delegates from nearly 190 nations committed Saturday to negotiating a new accord by 2009 that, in theory, would set the world on a course toward halving emissions of heat-trapping gases by 2050.

The dramatic finish to the negotiations came after a last-minute standoff during a day of see-saw emotions, with the co-organizer of the conference, Yvo de Boer, fleeing the podium at one point as he held back tears and the representative from Papua New Guinea telling the U.S. delegation to lead, follow or "please get out of the way."

When the delegate from Papua New Guinea, Kevin Conrad, asked to speak, opposition to the United States had reached a crescendo. "We seek your leadership," he said referring to the United States. "But if for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please, get out of the way."

Nations set 2-year timetable to revive climate treaty
Delegates from nearly 190 countries wrapped up two weeks of intense and at times emotional talks here on Saturday with a two-year timetable for reviving an ailing, aging climate treaty.

The deal came after the United States, facing sharp verbal attacks in a final open-door negotiating session, reversed its opposition to a last minute-amendment by India.

Related: Rainforest protection plan takes shape

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