First Sunny Day In Copenhagen

By: Larry J. Schweiger

Here in Copenhagen the sun is shining for the first time in over a week. Inside the Bella Center, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a strong signal that the US is serious. If China agrees to pollution reductions and transparency, the United States will contribute to a global fund needed to support the poorest nations experiencing climate change and to protect forests. By just eliminating huge U.S. oil and coal subsidies, we can do a significant part to support the $100 billion annually needed for the fund through 2020. (The President had previously pledged to work with the G-20 to phase out oil subsidies.)

Hillary Clinton’s announcement has made it clear that talks are resuming today with the U.S. in a strategic place to establish binding emissions reductions with appropriate and verifiable levels of commitment by other nations. The Secretary made it clear that transparency by the Chinese was a key ingredient. The funding will only flow if these interlocking pieces are included in the climate agreement.

Prior to this morning, the skies have been dark while inside the talks have been marked by delegate walkouts and enormous protests in the streets involving 60,000 to 100,000 marchers calling for bold action.

This may be a game changer.

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Published: December 17, 2009