Thursday, November 08, 2012

U.S. Climate Diplomats Get Renewed Chance to Find Common Ground with Allies

Todd Stern and Jonathan Pershing are President Obama's diplomatic climate change negotiators, charged with representing America's interests in the tumultuous U.N. global warming negotiations. They are described by environmentalists, fellow negotiators and former colleagues as smart, pragmatic and occasionally didactic. Nearly all used similar language to describe the tough political and diplomatic obstacle course Stern and Pershing have had to navigate over the past four years. They were: "constrained" by Congress. "Hands tied" by the domestic policy and "walking a tightrope" between moving the U.N. negotiations ostensibly toward a global treaty while avoiding promises to cut emissions or deliver money that the government cannot keep. With President Obama winning a second term Tuesday, activists are hoping for a more productive environment. Now is the time, they insist, for the White House to embrace climate change as a priority, lay the foundation for domestic legislation and prepare the United States to join a treaty that will keep the global average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels...more

No comments: