In the clearest enunciation of what was being talked about in the last few weeks, the United States has said it will not make any commitments to cut its greenhouse gases until its domestic legislation on climate change is passed in the Senate — effectively ruling out any US offer at the Copenhagen summit in December.
US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said his country wanted to make sure that the story of the Kyoto Protocol — which Washington had put its signature to but could not ratify as the Senate refused to clear it in 1998 — was not repeated this time around.Chu said Washington wanted to complete the “political process” before declaring its targets for reducing its greenhouse gases.
“It (the US targets) has to go through the political process. We want to make sure that a situation like Kyoto does not happen again,” he said, while speaking at IIT Delhi.
The Copenhagen summit is supposed to finalise a global climate framework beyond 2012 when the first commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol comes to an end. The developed countries are expected to declare their emission cut targets for a period beyond 2012.
The US Senate is currently debating what is known as the Kerry-Boxer legislation that proposes 20 per cent reductions by the United States by 2020 compared to 2005 levels and 83 per cent by 2050. It also has an intermediate target of 42 per cent cuts by the year 2030.The Democrat-sponsored bill faces stiff resistance from the Republicans who boycotted the most recent hearing last week.