Apparently, the United States has now made clear that they do not expect a climate deal to emerge at Copenhagen this year, when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathering is to take place. This isn’t really news, but it is certainly disappointing. In a few years, I think people will look back regretfully at how much time, money and political energy were directed at the credit crunch, while the much more important problem of climate change mitigation was neglected.
A big part of the reason for the delay is certainly the difficulty the Obama administration has had getting a climate change bill through Congress. The Republicans deserve a lot of criticism for their caveman mentality on this issue. Their united opposition to meaningful action on climate change is irresponsible and a dereliction of duty, insofar as they are charged with defending the long-term welfare of the United States. While pricing carbon will cause short-term harm to certain industries now, it is the only way to kick off the sustained transition to a low-carbon economy that long-term prosperity ultimately depends upon.