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John Kerry vows to get climate laws passed if Copenhagen deal succeeds

Suzanne Goldenberg
London Guardian [1]
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A looming showdown between the US and China dominated the Copenhagen climate change negotiations today even as John Kerry tried to defuse tensions by guaranteeing to get climate change laws through the US Congress.

In a heavily attended speech, Kerry, who is leading the effort to get a climate change bill through the Senate, said he was confident of success — if countries at Copenhagen managed to cut a deal.

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“With a successful deal here in Copenhagen, next year, the US Congress – House and Senate – will pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation that will reduce America’s emissions,” Kerry said to applause. The unconditional promise from the chair of the Senate foreign relations committee went some distance today to allaying fears that Barack Obama would not be able to deliver on his pledge to cut US emissions.

The uncertainty about whether America is really prepared to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, and by how much, has crippled the negotiations. It has allowed developing countries such as China and India, which will be the big polluters of the future, to stall on committing to their own action, and has bred distrust and resentment from the African and poor countries that will suffer the most from climate change.

Full story here. [1]