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As Nations Sign On to Copenhagen Accord, Path to Low-Carbon Future Becomes Clearer

Nations Representing Nearly 80 Percent of Global Emissions Affirm Actions to Reduce Emissions Under Copenhagen Accord

WASHINGTON, DC, February 1, 2010 – China, Europe, India, Brazil and dozens of other developed and developing countries announced specific steps to fight climate change, meeting yesterday’s deadline to submit such commitments under the Copenhagen Accord.  While yesterday was the official deadline for submitting targets, countries may continue to sign on and associate themselves with the agreement.

As expected, the Obama administration reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to reduce emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, but the pledge is entirely provisional on a comprehensive climate and energy bill passing Congress. 

World Wildlife Fund issued the following statement today from Keya Chatterjee, Director of WWF’s Climate Change Program:

“The path toward a global low-carbon economy became much clearer today as nations representing roughly 80 percent of global greenhouse gas pollution submitted specific actions for addressing dangerous climate change to the U.N.

“The real last day of Copenhagen was yesterday with the January 31 deadline, and we now know what steps countries are prepared to take.

“Countries are moving forward because they know it’s in their own interests to do so, whether for minimizing climate impacts, improving energy security or growing their economies.  Unfortunately, because the Senate hasn’t yet passed a climate bill, the U.S. remains tethered to the starting blocks while the rest of the world is beginning to complete lap one in the race for the clean energy economy. 

“The US needs to act immediately, in order to keep up.  We were pleased to hear the President issue a clear call in the State of the Union that he is ready to work with the Senate, including the bi-partisan Kerry-Lieberman-Graham team, to pass comprehensive climate legislation this spring.”