The climate talks in Copenhagen will not be the final chance for the world to confront climate change, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said. And while the historic negotiations should produce meaningful results on greenhouse gas reductions, he said, negotiators should avoid unrealistic goals.
“You have to bring more people along,” he told reporters during a briefing in Vienna, “So don’t tee it up as now or never.”
World leaders will gather in December in hopes of crafting the successor to the Kyoto Protocol. While some developing nations want richer countries to cut CO2 emissions by 25 to 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, Chu said targets that are too aggressive would not likely be approved by U.S. lawmakers.
The U.S., the world’s second-biggest CO2 emitter, has proposed cutting emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a reduction of about 14 percent from 2007 levels. By setting achievable goals — and improving efficiency — developed nations can prove that green policies won’t hamper the economy, Chu said.
“If you could get all those gains in the first 20, 30 percent reduction in carbon (emissions), just by using energy efficiently,” he said, “you can teach people that there is a path.”
Appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360.
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