The day before talks start in Copenhagen on a new international treaty to combat climate change, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States is set to declare carbon dioxide a ‘public danger’ as soon as Monday.
The decision by the EPA means that carbon dioxide emissions could become regulated by the US government, including setting new emission standards for vehicles and possibly regulating other high-carbon industries such as utility companies.
The timing of announcement is thought in part to give even more political clout to the Obama Administration at the Copenhagen talks. The move may also propel the Senate to act more quickly on climate legislation before them.
After long waiting for Congress to tackle climate policy, the Obama Administration recently shot into action in time to counter rising criticism of the United States’ inaction before the Copenhagen Summit. Over the past few weeks the administration has set an emissions reduction target, negotiated with China and India on the issue, and announced that Obama will attend the end of the Copenhagen talks along with other world leaders.
It appears that the Obama Administration has become intent on proving that it is serious about fighting climate change.
The US will set emissions target, but is this a turning point for success at Copenhagen?
(11/24/2009) Today may mark a turning point for a successful negotiation at the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen or it may just be another blip in the up-and-down news cycles that have preceded the summit for months.
Record year for CO2 emissions, even with economic slowdown
(11/17/2009) 8.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide was emitted into the earth’s atmosphere in 2008, a growth of 2 percent despite the economic crisis. This averages out to each person contributing a record high of 1.3 tons of carbon, according to a report in the journal Nature Science. While the global recession slowed the growth of fossil fuel emissions for the first time this decade, it did not lower emissions altogether.
UN singles out US as the most important nation for global warming negotiations
(11/11/2009) Visiting Washington DC, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated that the United States was the world’s most important actor when it comes to negotiations for a new climate change treaty, while urging the Senate to move forward on legislation.