More COP15 Expectation Management: UN Plans Post-Copenhagen Talks - Kerry Says We've Done All We Can

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photo: Sara Petagna via flickr.

Though the grand exercise of managing expectations regarding the possibility of actually getting a global climate deal signed at the COP15 talks has been going on for a couple months now, here are the latest examples courtesy the United Nations and Senator John Kerry:With only weeks to go before December 7th, the reality is hitting home: The chances of the US having a completed climate bill before Copenhagen are, well, pretty much zero.

Kerry Says Committee Action as Far as Senate Can Go
As Climate Progress points out, E&E; News describes Kerry as downplaying the prospect of floor debate on the climate bill in 2009, "signaling instead that committee action is about as far as he expects the Senate can go" before COP15.

Kerry added, "we're going to keep working this as hard as we can...I'm confident we'll have some kind of effort, whether it's out of committee, or out of all the committees, or the working group or whatever, before we go to Copenhagen."

Without US Climate Bill, Global Deal Delayed
That's not a change in position from Kerry, who's said similar things for months now, but all indications from the international community are that without a completed US climate bill a global agreement is unlikely to come out of the Copenhagen talks.

Which doesn't mean progress towards such an agreement hasn't been made and some further progress be made in the short time remaining before the talks, but we need to begin planning for what comes next.

COP15 Must Build Framework For Future Global Deal
Indeed, as Reuters reports, the United Nations has already entered post-Copenhagen mode: Climate advisor to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Janos Pasztor being quoted as saying,

Climate change is not going to be resolved in Copenhagen in the next few weeks. We always knew that. It's a long-term problem that will be with us for many years, if not decades, to come. So Copenhagen has to be a milestone.

After Copenhagen we may not agree on all elements, but we should have a broad agreement.

Pasztor added that the Secretary General believes that we must keep working for an "ambitious politically binding agreement" at the talks, that will "chart the way for future post-Copenhagen negotiations that lead to a legally binding global agreement."

Keep Pushing to Copenhagen, and Beyond
If all that sounds defeatist to TreeHugger readers, consider that though the COP15 talks are still over a month away, there are just a few official negotiating days left. The political differences between nations aren't likely to be fully resolved in those.

But that doesn't mean further grassroots action isn't still needed -- we just need to be realistic about how much more can be done pre-COP15 and start talking about post-Copenhagen strategies.

Global Climate Change
With 5 Negotiating Days Until COP15, Keep Pushing for Fair, Ambitious & Binding Climate Deal
Just Getting a Climate Bill Out of Committee by December a Good Start
No New Treaty Likely at COP15 - We've Run Out of Time, Top UN Climate Negotiator Says

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