Over a dramatic rollercoaster ride of ups and downs at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, the United States has finally accepted a global agreement to work towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. As expected, the White House initially rejected the agreement, but after the conference got pushed into overtime, and after facing intense booing and protests from other delegations, the White House was finally convinced to accept a compromise and sign the deal. Delegates from 187 countries agreed last Saturday to negotiate a new international agreement over the next two years, which (not so coincidentally) extends the debate into a new US presidential term.
The “Bali Action Plan” is nonbinding and asserts that “deep cuts in global emissions will be required” over the next two years, building off of the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol. The United States initially opposed the idea, stating that the negotiations must “clearly differentiate” and link responsibility with the level of emissions, size of the economy, and energy use among developing countries. While talks were set to end Friday, they spilled over to Saturday, when the US accepted a compromise that would aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.