Unifying the West on Climate Change

Barack Obama has called climate change one of the most important challenges of our time, is pressing forward with domestic cap-and-trade legislation, and has the US fully re-engaged in UN negotiations. But none of this means that the US and the EU will now be in harmony about how to address the problem.

WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama has called climate change one of the most important challenges of our time, and is pressing forward with domestic cap-and-trade legislation while fully re-engaging the United States in United Nations negotiations.

But this changed attitude does not mean that the US and the European Union will now agree on how to tackle climate change. Despite a convergence of long-term goals – around an 80% reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050 – substantial hurdles remain, and real leadership will be required on both sides to avoid the kind of breakdown in Copenhagen that was only narrowly averted in Kyoto in 1997.

So what are the main potential sticking points?

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