Seriously? UN climate chair Yvo de Boer predicted a 50 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from Switzerland last month, and now, at the Honolulu climate change meeting this week many industrialized nations supported this goal. Backing the reduction are the EU, Canada and Japan. How does the US fit into the picture?
In Bali, US delegation head Paula Dobriansky said, “Our policy is that we do not support mandatory targets or timetables.” Now, from Hawaii, White House Council on Environmental Quality chairman Jim Connaughton said the US is giving “serious consideration” to the goal for emissions reductions.
Fellow negotiators are encouraged that the US is now at least talking about specific cuts. Next stop on the “Bali Roadmap”? There are no fewer than 18 meetings on the agenda for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change calendar this year before the milestone conference slated for Poland in December.
Time will tell how long the US will give “serious consideration” to the proposed GHG cuts. Hopefully, we’ll have a firm position on these goals in time for the Poland conference, but our nebulous position could very likely spill into 2009. FYI, Inauguration Day is slated for January 20, 2009.