Friday, December 18, 2009

A Climate Deal at Copenhagen?

Word is out of a climate change agreement of sorts reached at Copenhagen by five countries, including China and the US. Details haven't been released but it is being reported that the emissions cuts are well short of what the United States and Europe have been proposing.

If there is a breakthrough it might be in China's reluctant agreement to a system of independent monitoring of each country's emissions reductions.

Given that a study released this week showed that even a binding deal that met the emissions cut targets prior to Copenhagen would still result in warming in excess of 3 degrees Celsius and that the 'agreement' being touted today suggests a weakening of those initial targets, the cuts envisioned likely won't be effective at avoiding runaway global warming. What seems to be unfolding is precisely the scenario James Hansen feared most from COP15 - a pact that doesn't go far enough but will at the same time thwart further effective emissions cuts.

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