A Tale of Two Treaties?

TaniaHaldarHartcop15_logo_imgThis week’s Sea Change Radio News Analysis comes from Tania Haldar Hart:

The conference to negotiate a new climate treaty is rapidly approaching — early December, in Copenhagen — and the Sea Change Correspondent will be there to cover it.  The goal is to to come out of Copenhagen with a workable Climate treaty.  But what this will look like is still up in the air.  There’s debate over two possible treaties.

The Kyoto Protocol, the existing treaty, requires rich countries to cut carbon emissions five percent from 1990 levels by 2012.  But, it made no similar requirements for poor countries — a sticking point for the US among others.  Another treaty option, the Long-Term Cooperative Action, is a deal that would include the US and ask more of developing countries.  It would kick in after 2012, according the Telegraph in the UK.

The problem is, many countries are caught between the two treaties, as neither of them completely fulfills any given country’s specific political and climate agendas.  Developed countries, such as the US, want each country to have its own emission reduction targets enforced by domestic law. But developing countries are threatening to walk out of the talks if binding emissions reductions for developed countries aren’t included.  This sets the stage for a breakdown in negotiations — or, a possible hybrid treaty to be crafted in Copenhagen.  A delayed but harmonious treaty signing may be better than none at all.

For the Sea Change News Analysis, I’m Tania Haldar Hart.