Obama, Wen Head to Copenhagen

The World We Are Creating

The World We Are Creating

As the world begins to work on a replacement to the Kyoto Protocol, President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao are heading to Copenhagen to represent the two biggest world polluters.

Just a day after Barack Obama announced that he would be heading to Copenhagen to lobby for the passage of a treaty whose future has been in doubt, the Chinese State Council, their of a Presidential cabinet, announced plans to cut emission by 40% to 45% by 2020, a much more aggressive approach than the Chinese, or any other country, have taken in the past.

When the Kyoto Treaty was passed, China refused to enter into the pact while President Bill Clinton did sign the Treaty but never had it ratified by Congress (as necessary by the Constitution) because he knew that the Newt Gingrich-led Republican Congress would never pass it.

Twelve years later and with a Democrat-controlled Congress and White House, the Obama Administration hopes to enter into a world emissions treaty.

The Obama Administration, however, has started off in a compromised position as has become the case with any federal initiative. Obama seeks to lower the United States emissions by 17% over the same time frame as the Chinese expect to cut emissions by almost half.

The Copenhagen meetings are especially important because they will impact the emission rates in growing countries like India and set the theme of carbon emissions around the world as we move forward.

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