United Nations: A fortnight before a crucial climate change conference takes place in Copenhagen, the UN climate chief has exuded confidence that US president Barack Obama would "commit" reasonable targets for emission cuts without relying on future Congress legislation to settle the issue.
"The climate change legislation will be dealt with early next year but having said that I am confident that the president of the United States can come to the Copenhagen with a target and with a financial commitment," said Yvo de Boer, who is director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In a revealing observation, Boer pointed out that not a single country that "signed on the dotted line" when the Kyoto Protocol was agreed to in 1997 had its legislation in place.
"They all offered a target in Kyoto, signed the agreement then went back home and turned that target into legislation, which they put to their senate and then they came back and ratified it," Boer explained.
In the case of the United States of America, Boer pointed out, "There were targets in president Obama's election campaign, there were targets in the legislation that was accepted by the Congress (House of Representatives), there are targets in the legislation presented by the senate ...all of those targets are very ambitious ...they reflect a major change in course of US economy," he noted.
The Copenhagen meet is expected to hammer out a climate treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol since the first commitment period under this treaty ends in 2012.