Hostile US Congress May Delay Global Climate Change Deal

Barack Obama may be forced to delay signing up to a new international agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in December 2009, due to the level of opposition in the US Congress. The Copenhagen Summit is a crucial date for the international community. The talks are expected to determine the future possibilities of global cooperation against climate change and produce the successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Unfortunately, senior figures in the Obama administration are warning that the president may need at least another six months to win domestic support for any new proposal regarding climate change. This delay could prevent a global agreement being reached in time for countries and economies to adopt it before the Kyoto treaty runs out in 2012. The Obama administration is reluctant to sign any international agreement without the support of Congress, fearing that it will result in a serious domestic backlash.

Stephen Byers, co-chairman of the International Climate Change Taskforce, and former cabinet minister said: “The timing couldn’t really be worse for the Obama administration… If need be, we should be prepared to give them more time – not to let them off the hook and escape their responsibilities, but ensure they are politically able to sign up to effective international action which reflects the scale of the challenge we face.” “A delay (into 2010) would be a price worth paying to bring the United States into the global effort to tackle climate change.” He added.

However, it has been reported that the opposition within America is potentially substantial, and there is, of course, the possibility that this opposition might become hardened over time, making it increasingly difficult for Obama to secure support in the future.

Read more about this story on the Guardian News Website