The UK will indeed be represented in Copenhagen; in fact, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown was one of the first heads of state from an industrialized country to commit to attending the Copenhagen talks in person. The UK’s position on climate issues has tended to be a bit confusing, and sometimes even self-contradictory. For years the UK government has stated a commitment to curbing greenhouse emissions and has urged countries like the United States to get on board the next global climate treaty. But meanwhile, UK domestic policy has not always reflected its progressive rhetoric, and many analysts believe the UK government has failed to crack down hard enough on big polluters like the coal industry. That said, Prime Minister Gordon Brown argued in an opinion piece for the UK Guardian yesterday that solid progress on a climate deal in Copenhagen is essential to the future of the planet. As the negotiations move forward in the next couple weeks, it seems likely that the UK could play an important role urging other industrialized countries to commit to strong pollution cuts.
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