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26 April 2017 21:37 (South Africa)

Obama needs to do some fancy footwork on climate change

US President Barak Obama is in a tricky position at the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen next month. His predecessor, George W Bush, is now notorious for trashing the last attempt at a climate change agreement, so attention will be abnormally focused on Obama this time around. However, Obama is constrained by what the US Congress might ultimately approve and there is no consensus on what that might be. The New York Times reports that Obama will announce the specific target “in coming days”. Yet what this target might be is so far unclear, as is his attendance at the summit. Obama’s spokesmen have said he will consider attending if his presence could be a useful impetus to a deal. Presumably that depends on whether the US target is considered aggressive or wimpy. It seems unlikely, but conceivable, if Obama decides in favour of prudence, that it may not be a case of Obama pondering whether to go or not; they might not want him there. Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/science/earth/24climate.html

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