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US bill passage necessary for success of world climate change talks: US negotiator

[JURIST] The US will have a hard time convincing other countries to adopt emissions-cutting legislation so long as an American bill [text, PDF] capping carbon emissions remains unpassed, US climate change chief negotiator Jonathan Pershing said in an interview with AP published Sunday. The Waxman-Markey Climate Bill [HR 2454 materials] passed [JURIST report report] the House of Representatives in June by a vote of 219 to 212, with three members not present or abstaining, but has not yet been put up for a vote in the Senate, although it has been placed on the docket. There is some concern that Senate passage will be delayed into December or even beyond. The legislation is designed to create clean energy jobs, reduce US dependence on pollution-causing sources of energy and reduce global warming.

Some 1500 climate change negotiators from around the world will begin meeting under UN auspices in Bangkok [official website] Monday in a run-up to a major climate change meeting slated for Copenhagen in December. Thusfar Western countries have been unable to convince developing nations to commit to reductions in emissions when the Western world has not done so either. The Copenhagen meeting [official website] is supposed to establish a replacement for the controversial Kyoto Protocol [JURIST news archive], which the US did not sign.

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