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US says it’s committed to cutting greenhouse gases
Question of the Day
AMSTERDAM (AP) - The United States assured international negotiators Monday it remains committed to reducing carbon emissions over the next 10 years, despite the collapse of efforts to legislate a climate bill.
Pershing said legislation is the preferred way to control greenhouse gases, but the administration “will use all the tools available” to reach its target.
Obama made the pledge at a climate summit in Copenhagen last December, and affirmed it in a formal note to the U.N. climate secretariat. At the time, the U.S. House of Representatives had passed a climate bill and the Senate had been broadly expected to follow suit.
But the withdrawal of a scaled down climate bill last week in the Senate raised concern about America’s commitment to fight global warming and disappointed developing countries that had hoped Obama would seize international leadership on the issue.
“It hasn’t made the discussion and the debate any easier in Europe,” Artur Runge-Metzger, the European Commissioner for climate change.
Delegations from 178 countries began five days of work Monday, resuming painstaking discussions on an agreement to limit global emissions and prepare poor countries for the effects of a warming world.
Delegates pointed to the lethal floods in Pakistan as an example of a the extreme weather events that scientists say will become more common as average temperatures rise.
As if to underscore the global warming threat, U.N. officials lifted the coat-and-tie rules for the week, citing soaring temperatures in Bonn and a desire to lower the air conditioning to reduce the conference’s emissions.
One more round of talks is scheduled in Tianjin, China, in October before the next major climate conference Nov. 29-Dec 10 in Cancun, Mexico.
“Success in Cancun does not hinge on U.S. legislation,” he told some 3,000 delegates, businessmen and activists attending the talks.
Environmental groups warned that the setback in Washington should not deter other countries, and called on the EU to take the lead.
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