Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The 15th annual UN Climate Change Conference, COP15, opened ceremoniously in Copenhagen yesterday. Over the last few days, there has been a tug of war between the hopeful and the pessimistic about whether this conference will result in consensus or policy action. I'm among the hopeful, buoyed by the push towards action by the Obama administration, which is ready to talk numbers and commitments (a 17% cut in 2005 emissions by 2020 is on the table - not very ambitious, but a start), the EPA's fresh announcement that it will regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, and the coverage of Copenhagen by the American press, which seems to me more intense than of past conferences - all positive indications that negotiations will make progress towards international carbon and climate regulation. My sentiments are perfectly described by the conference's concert event series, Hopenhagen, a Danish-English hybrid that rings with European cool and American optimism.