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Copenhagen deal looks shaky as US and China talk

road to copenhagen.jpgIn December this year, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will descend on Copenhagen to wrangle over the details of a new global climate deal — a potential successor to the Kyoto Protocol. See Nature’s Road to Copenhagen special for more coverage.

Confusing reports abound today about Obama’s stance on the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks.

Wall Street Journal says that Copenhagen is going to be a flop, which follows reports that Obama said at a meeting in Singapore over the weekend that a legally binding deal at Copenhagen was unlikely.

Since then Obama has met with the Chinese president Hu Jintao, and again climate was high on the mind of the world’s reporters. The AP’s shorter-than-short story, and Reuters both report what has now spread far and wide: Obama and Hu have agreed to take “significant” action to mitigate carbon emissions.

The reports do seem contradictory, but it probably depends on your views on Copenhagen in the first place. For someone who will only be happy with a legally binding agreement out of Copenhagen, the news seems bleak. But for others the fact that China and the US have come to some sort of agreement could signal a pang of optimism.

CNN for one is filled with that optimism, running their story that says “China and the United States, the largest producers of greenhouse gases, will team up to fight climate change and create clean energy, their leaders said Tuesday.” And the Deutsche Welle says that Obama and Hu want to “reinvigorate” climate talks.

Look elsewhere and the focus on the lack of a binding agreement at Copenhagen won’t go away: FT, WSJ blog.

It seems too important an issue to leave hanging, but it looks like we’re just going to have to wait and see.

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