• Senate delay means no bill likely before Copenhagen
• German leader makes historic Congress address
• UN Chief says deal in Copenhagen not likely either (VOA News)
Chancellor of Germany Angela
by Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington and Damian Carrington in UK
International negotiators lost one of the key elements to a successful deal on global warming today after Democratic leaders in the US Congress ruled out passing a climate change law before 2010. In the latest obstacle on the road to the UN summit in Copenhagen next month, Senate leaders ordered a five-week pause to review the costs of the legislation.
The delay, which would push a Senate vote on a climate change bill into next year, frustrates a last-minute push by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, to get America to commit itself at home to cut greenhouse gas emissions before the Copenhagen meeting. World leaders – and US officials – have repeatedly said US legislation is crucial to a deal on global warming.
Merkel used a historic address to a joint session of Congress today to urge America to act on climate change, stating that success at Copenhagen rested on the willingness of all countries to accept binding reductions in carbon emissions.
The first German leader to ever address both houses of Congress, Merkel said a deal was comparable in importance to the tearing down of the Berlin wall 20 years ago. “We need the readiness of all countries to accept internationally binding obligations,” she said to loud applause from Democrats. Republicans largely sat in silence. “There is no doubt about it. In December, the world will look to us: the Europeans and the Americans. I am convinced once we … show ourselves ready to adopt binding agreements we will also be able to persuade China and India.”
Merkel also raised her concerns with Barack Obama in a visit to the White House earlier today. He told reporters: “Chancellor Merkel has been an extraordinary leader on the issue of climate change. And the US, Germany, and countries around the world are all beginning to recognise why it is so important that we work in common to stem the potential catastrophe that could result if we see global warming continuing unabated.”
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h/t to Dr. Benny Peiser