The big climate news over the last few days was the revelation that there will be no deal on curbing global warming next month in Copenhagen.
As faithful Dateline Earth readers know, that doesn’t really qualify as news. The confirmation came as President Obama attended an Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Singapore.
But today brings news that the Europeans aren’t necessarily willing to take no for an answer. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, fresh off appealing to the U.S. Congress to get with the program, will attend the Copenhagen talks.
And it seems that at least the Swiss will continue pushing for a legally binding deal at the COP15 talks.
Of course, the real sticking point here is the United States — the U.S. Senate, as David Roberts points out at grist.org:
This absurdly protracted process is playing out as dozens of countries hang out, tapping their feet, looking at their watches, flipping idly through waiting-room magazines. Concerted international action can’t get started without the U.S., and the U.S. can’t get started without the Senate—the Obama administration won’t promise anything to which the Senate hasn’t committed. So the world waits for the Senate, observing its legislative process with a mix of bewilderment, anxiety, and disdain.
Well put. We might need to get used to those old magazines. It’s starting to look like a meeting next December in Mexico will be the new target date for a legally binding treaty, rather than a mid-year confab in Germany. One reason for that is that the Senate is pretty much giving up hope for climate legislation until the spring.