All eyes on the U.S. as Bonn talks end

The Bonn talks ended the same way they started—with a bustle of activity and many, many questions for the U.S. It matters to absolutely everyone what the U.S. does – because no country wants carbon regulations that don’t dovetail with those of the world’s biggest economy.

The last day is back-to-back sessions and press conferences where delegates state their final issues and tell the reporters what must happen next. Fittingly, Jonathan Pershing (head of the U.S. delegation in Todd Stern’s absence) takes the last press slot of the day.

Will the U.S. pass climate legislation this year? Can the U.S. make deeper emissions cuts, and faster? Will the U.S. give more adaptation funding to help get developing economies on board? There are no easy answers to these questions, and the whole world is waiting for an answer.

Pershing is articulate – (does the Obama administration have some special speaking coach?) – and he is candid. He explained it will take time for the administration to develop its detailed policy positions on all of these issues – but he also made a point of saying he knows that answer won’t be good enough for very long.

After 10 days in Bonn, it has already become clear that, while it’s good to have the U.S. back at the negotiating table, that alone won’t be enough to move things forward. Pershing promises the U.S. delegation will have some — but not all — of its concrete policy positions worked out by the next Bonn session. We’re interested in seeing what will develop by the second Bonn talk in June.

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 9, 2009 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    The U.S. is finally in a position to make a difference globally. There is disagreement over the cap and trade approach or other approaches, but I think you will finally see the sleeping giant awaken this year. Obama is in a position to change things, and if the economy picks up even a little we should see this happen.

    Andy Greene
    Green Living Tips for Rednecks

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