Environmental Policy

Authored by: Michael E. Kraft

Routledge Handbook of American Foreign Policy

Print publication date:  August  2011
Online publication date:  April  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415800884
eBook ISBN: 9780203878637
Adobe ISBN: 9781135967352


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At what was widely anticipated to be one of the most important international meetings in decades, with profound implications for the world’s future, representatives of 193 nations met in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December of 2009 to approve a new treaty on global climate change. Yet, after some two weeks of prolonged and often intense negotiations, the results fell well short of the delegates’ expectations. No agreement could be reached on a treaty to curb the release of greenhouse gases linked to climate change, in part because neither the United States nor China, the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, would commit to a specific set of goals and deadlines. Indeed, despite promises to the contrary, neither nation provided the leadership that is essential to securing agreement from other nations.

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