New Report Offers Little Hope for International Climate Agreement
It's the big pink elephant in the room that few others wish to acknowledge, but a central theme in a new report by former climate negotiator Nigel Purvis: An international climate change treaty isn't likely to be signed anytime soon.
Purvis served as president Clinton's chief UN climate negotiator, and in his report released today Purvis says that the United States and Europe should "accept reality" and take immediate practical steps to deal with global warming.
The report, entitled Rethinking Climate Diplomacy: New ideas for transatlantic cooperation post-Copenhagen, co-authored by Purvis and Andrew Stevenson, a research assistant at the think tank Resources for the Future, see opportunity in their grim assessment:
While the outlook may seem bleak, the United States and Europe have a number of meaningful opportunities for ratcheting up global climate action," Purvis and Stevenson write. "Progress will depend, however, on letting go of cherished, unrealistic goals while opening up to new ways of thinking."
The report is a contribution to the Brussels Forum paper series through the German Marshall Fund, and is one part of a growing body of analysis that attempts to sort out the "mixed and messy," as Purvis calls it, outcome of the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen that produced the Copenhagen Accord.
Purvis and Stevenson argue that two fundamental truths emerged as a consequence of COP15: America might make promises it can't keep. Conversely, China won't make promises, but will act.
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