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THE QUESTION

What Should the U.S. Do to Prepare for Copenhagen?

After the U.S.'s failure to ratify a climate treaty negotiated in Kyoto in 1997, what are the key challenges ahead as the U.S. prepares for international talks in Copenhagen.


Posted by Washington Post Editor on October 1, 2009 1:52 PM
FROM THE PANEL

Senate Engagement Key to Success in Copenhagen

Memories of Kyoto have led many to believe that the Obama Administration should arrive at Copenhagen prepared to negotiate only those climate commitments which the Senate is prepared to support.  A logical conclusion after the debacle of Kyoto.   But unless...

Posted by Carter S. Roberts, on October 13, 2009 11:38 AM

Present Concrete Steps Taken

Since taking office, President Obama has changed the U.S. landscape on clean energy and greenhouse gases (GHGs) fundamentally.  Instead of ignoring MA vs. EPA as the last administration did, President Obama has moved forward with numerous steps: sweeping auto efficiency...

Posted by Ian Bowles, on October 8, 2009 3:18 PM

Politics are Insufficient to Meeting Climate Change Challenges

The greatest challenge for the United States will be to ignore the political past, and develop our positions and negotiate as if the quality of our children's lives depended on the outcome... for the simple reason that it does.  Most...

Posted by David F. Hales, on October 6, 2009 10:57 PM

Two Steps Obama Can Do to Position the U.S.

Since the Kyoto talks in 1997, global warming predictions have only worsened. Yes, the polar bears are in trouble. But what about 20 feet of sea-level rise in downtown Washington, D.C.? The melting Greenland ice sheet and the Lincoln Memorial...

Posted by Mike Tidwell, on October 6, 2009 3:38 PM

Only Technology -- Not More Targets and Timetables -- Can Save Copenhagen

Copenhagen climate talks are in trouble. European nations have been unable to reduce their domestic emissions, developing nations like China and India have rejected emissions caps, and the U.S. Senate will not pass climate legislation this year, and maybe not...

Posted by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, on October 5, 2009 2:45 PM

Challenge Equals Opportunity

Three countries have been seen as potential obstacles to success in Copenhagen - the United States, India, and China - but there are signs of change.  The U.S. is considering both legislation and regulation to bring emissions under control.  China...

Posted by Reid Detchon, on October 5, 2009 1:56 PM

Why Are We Going to Copenhagen?

The main challenge for America as we approach this new opportunity to work with other nations concerning climate change is to determine our purpose for being there. Are we going to Copenhagen to protect our financial stake in the global...

Posted by Rick Edmund, on October 5, 2009 8:41 AM

Belief in a Common Direction Will Unlock Private Investment

The American people are admired worldwide for their ability to focus on the future, and to do so with optimism and confidence. This spirit must be at the core of American leadership on climate change. The diplomatic difficulties of the...

Posted by Lars G. Josefsson, on October 5, 2009 7:21 AM

Too Big To Fail

Following the 12 years since Kyoto, the climate change crisis ever more clearly presents a challenge that is too big to fail to meet. Nearly one-quarter of the increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels since industrialization occurred after 1997, as...

Posted by Donald F. Boesch, on October 5, 2009 12:57 AM

The Challenges Ahead

The world is a very different place in 2009 than 1997, so the challenge is now the same for all -- actually reducing emissions in the face of rising energy demand globally. Although burgeoning demand is accelerating the use of...

Posted by David Hone, on October 4, 2009 10:07 PM

U.S. Must Develop a Responsible Climate Policy of its Own

Participation in the Copenhagen talks is important. It is also important that the United States continue moving forward on its own climate policy. Until our country takes action, it is difficult for the United States to help shape global policy....

Posted by Pam Faggert, on October 4, 2009 6:21 PM

In Copenhagen, Focus on Realistic Possibilities

President Clinton failed to send the Kyoto Treaty to the Senate for ratification because the Senate had already indicated by a 95-0 vote that it would not approve a treaty that exempted developing countries and which would damage our economy. ...

Posted by William O'Keefe, on October 4, 2009 4:10 PM

A Popular Movement is Necessary

Here's the key challenge -- there's simply not a big enough movement yet to get action. Everywhere who isn't a die-hard ideologue knows this is the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced, and yet almost everyone imagines some expert or...

Posted by Bill McKibben, on October 4, 2009 4:10 PM

The Urgent Need to Open Up the Debate

The central challenge we face is the same one nearly every other country faces: Assemble the political support for a meaningful system for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our current attempt to enact a cap-and-trade system is failing on two counts:...

Posted by Robert J. Shapiro, on October 4, 2009 3:56 PM

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