Today at the APEC summit, President Obama announced that top world leaders would not form a binding, global agreement on CO2 emissions reduction at the Copenhagen Summit this December.
They didn’t give any firm dates, beyond saying that such an agreement is not likely before the second half of 2010, which basically means 2011.
This is both disappointing, and an opportunity.
Disappointing because a binding agreement, even one that is a deep compromise, would at least establish momentum towards a low-carbon global economy.
An opportunity because citizens worldwide have more chances to press for strong action at the time a decision is finally made.
We should now shift our focus at Copenhagen, though not diminish our energy. The message is clear: the scientific community that has brought us so much progress and wealth over the last century are now telling us to drastically cut CO2 emissions or face terrible consequences. The community of the world overwhelmingly backs these conclusions and is ready to take action to switch to a new, sustainable way of living on the planet.
As Mr Gore rightly says, the only thing missing is political will.