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Uncle Sam to set target?

November 25, 2009

CIimate Progress, the indispensable American blog, has the following story.

http://climateprogress.org/2009/11/23/breaking-us-will-announce-target-for-cutting-carbon-emissions-before-copenhagen/

White House hits back on climate critics

That’s the banner headline at the Politico, which reports:

“It would be a mistake to conclude that the international community’s failure to reach a final treaty in Copenhagen is due to a lack of domestic legislation in the United States,” said a senior White House official, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity.

The United States, said officials, plans to propose a near-term emissions reduction target as part of a “meaningful submission” the country will present at the talks.

The BBC’s story is even more specific on the proposed target (though I think a little off):

The US will announce a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions before next month’s UN climate summit, according to a White House official.

The target is expected to be in line with figures contained in legislation before the Senate — a reduction of about 17-20% from 2005 levels by 2020.

While this is being hailed as big news, I don’t think it’s terribly surprising, since it’s pretty obvious that the Senate target will be in the ballpark of a 17% reduction +/- 3%. It’s certainly not going to be a lot higher nor would I expect it to be a lot lower.

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