Why are there so many international climate and environmental talks, but so few international agreements? What gets done there?



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    In following what’s been going on at the many climate international climate talks convened so far this year, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the talks are mainly taken up by petty bickering back and forth between different countries, with most of the major emitters of global warming pollution trying to avoid taking full responsibility for their carbon footprint.  Though the US has taken up a more constructive role in climate talks since the new administration came to power, it has still not agreed to emissions-reduction goals approaching the level of what’s needed to prevent catastrophic global warming.  Other countries, such as Canada and Japan, have also been obstructing progress toward an effective climate treaty.  This week, negotiations began in Copenhagen – the most important climate meeting that has been convened since adoption of the Kyoto Protocol.  Now is a great time to let US leaders know you would like an effective climate treaty.  Visit the White House web page at http://www.whitehouse.gov, and you can fill out a comments form to let President Obama know your thoughts on climate issues.

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