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Uncle Sam to set target?

November 25, 2009

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

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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