Monday, July 6, 2009

Obama will chair MEF climate change session

If BusinessGreen reporting and BBC reporting (in title link) are true, then this Thursday we will find out how weak or strong President Obama can be on climate change. According to both stories, President Obama has asked to chair a key climate change session in the MEF (which is running parallel to the G20 meeting). Hopes are running high for an agreement on key climate change issues this week in Italy. There is a growing sense the UNFCCC process needs some clarity and direction from either the G8 or G20 and the MEF is where that will happen. Maybe these talks in Italy will be President Obama's first (and quite dramatic) foreign policy success? Imagine if he could get all the countries to agree on the basic ambitions and language to help the UNFCCC focus?

We shouldn't get our hopes up too high - other news outlets are reporting major diplomatic problems and low expectations. And the diplomatically unappealing talk of a "chairman's summary" if things can't get hammered out. Such a summary would indicate there wasn't agreement...

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