“Well-meant but half-hearted pledges to protect our planet from dangerous climate change are simply not sufficient to address a crisis that calls for completely new ways of collaboration across rich and poor countries,” said Kim Carstensen, leader of WWFs Global Climate Initiative.
Mr. Kerry was nonetheless upbeat about the chances for climate legislation following the Copenhagen deal. He called it a “catalyzing moment” marked by a “meeting of the minds” among Mr. Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Indian President Manmohan Singh and South African President Jacob Zuma.
“With this in hand, we can work to pass domestic legislation early next year to bring us across the finish line,” Mr. Kerry predicted.
But Democratic leaders, as well as Republican opponents in the Senate, quickly signaled that the bill faces no more certain a future after Copenhagen than before.
“Well, we’re going to move forward on it. I hope we can get it done this coming year,” said Illinois Sen. Richard J. Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”
His Republican counterpart, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, said he was convinced the Copenhagen deal does little to improve prospects for climate legislation.
He stressed that the deal signed by Mr. Obama at Copenhagen must be ratified by the Senate, including proposed U.S. emissions cuts of 17 percent by 2020 and U.S. contributions to the adaptation funds.
“And as a result, the Senate will have to act on this, and there is not the support right now for that,” Mr. Kyl said. “My guess is, if it came to the Senate today, you’d have even a majority of Democrats not willing to support American taxpayer money going to these countries.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, urged the Senate to abandon an economywide emissions cut and pass bipartisan energy legislation approved by the committee in June.
“Given the difficulty in developing a new international treaty, this matter must be addressed in a way that strengthens our economy and bolsters our energy security,” she said. “Our climate policy needs to stand on its own because it is the right approach for our country, regardless of the actions other nations do, or do not, take.
By Elaine Donnelly
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