"The United States and almost 200 other countries are negotiating under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to address climate change cooperatively1 beyond the year 2012. Parties agreed to complete those negotiations by the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) scheduled for December 7-18, 2009, in Copenhagen. […] Negotiations had lagged through 2008. In December 2008, the then-incoming Obama Administration stated its policy to reduce U.S. emissions to 14% below 2005 levels by 2020. Optimism among many grew that the U.S. Congress would pass GHG [greenhouse gas] control legislation before the Copenhagen meeting, providing guidance to the executive branch negotiators regarding the elements of a treaty that the Senate would ultimately consent to ratify. The Obama position and passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of H.R. 2454 (the American Clean Energy and Security Act, ACES, or the 'Waxman-Markey' bill) have led to reinvigorated hopes of some people that consensus among countries could be found by December 2009 on a comprehensive Copenhagen agreement with quantified commitments. As the weeks remaining until December wane, with neither a U.S. GHG target nor U.S. financial offers, it becomes less likely that China and major non-Annex I country emitters would agree to GHG reduction commitments--which they have been strongly resisting. Smaller countries, concerned about the impacts of climate change on their welfare and economies, and looking to the United States and other large, wealthy countries for leadership on climate change, have become increasingly frustrated. Lack of strong political agreements has led to recent demonstrations in as many as 4,500 locations in 170 countries. More are planned during the Copenhagen meeting."
CRS Report for Congress, R40910
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