Obligating the United States to slash its fossil fuel use, and send billions of taxpayer dollars annually to dictators, bureaucrats and crony industrialists in poor countries would be disastrous. Thank goodness it did not happen. But we are not out of the woods yet.
Despite a round of telephone diplomacy between the White House, Chinese President Xi and Indian Prime Minister Modi, China and India appear prepared to stand pat. They expect Obama's eagerness to claim a climate agreement as part of his legacy will lead him to fold on issues of substantive U.S. interest. That seems a strong bet.
With two days left, the UN is closer than ever before to creating a successor treaty/agreement to the Kyoto protocol. They also are poised to achieve their goal of bringing the U.S. into the UN climate regime. However, even at this late hour, substantial divisions remain. Brace for drama.
Week one of COP 21, the UN climate conference in Paris, concluded with the adoption of a draft “outcome.”