Photo via DC Streets Blog
The Obama administration formally made its pledge to reduce emissions in the United States 17% below 2005 by 2020 levels yesterday. This is in accordance to the pledge he put forth at the Copenhagen talks, and is intended to help strengthen the chances of obtaining a global agreement. Of course, the pledge can't truly be called official because that dallying governing body that starts with an "S" and ends in an "enate" hasn't yet passed a clean energy and jobs bill needed to guarantee such a pledge. The LA Times reports:
In a letter to United Nations climate officials, the administration formally "associated" itself with the Copenhagen Accord by making the pledge, which it said would be outlined in more detail once Congress passes a bill limiting emissions.There's nothing bolder than "associating" oneself with a pledge! Sounds like the founding fathers would've endorsed--we hereby "associate" ourselves with the Declaration of Independence. Unless, heh, this whole thing doesn't work out, in which case, we of course only 'associated' ourselves with it.
Most of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases, which scientists blame for global warming, are expected to follow suit. Europe, Australia, Japan and other industrialized nations have said they will cut their emissions outright; fast-growing nations such as China and India say they will emit less as a share of their economies.
Like I said, bold. But though I jest, this is truly all Obama can do at the moment, and actually still requires some serious cajones. He gave a fiery (for him) endorsement of clean energy legislation during his SOTU, and he hasn't backed down in supporting it. This was a tough move, because if the Senate doesn't pass clean energy reform, Obama will have little to offer the world in further climate negotiations. So we salute Obama for making an important first step in setting the US on a path to reduce emissions.
More Emissions Reduction Pledges
China Will Cap Emissions Intensity: Your Move, U.S.
Germany Stands Up For Science - Maintains 40% by 2020 Emissions