"Confirming doubts that had been growing for months, the world leaders in attendance at APEC... announced on Sunday morning that a legally binding deal on climate change would be impossible to achieve at the U.N. summit on global warming in Copenhagen next month.
Instead, in Copenhagen, diplomats will aim to reach a less aggressive — and much less specific — "politically binding" agreement, with the hope that hard numbers and legal obligations to reduce climate change would be added soon, in a two-step approach.
The reason is simple: the deadlock between developed nations and developing ones. Developing nations refuse most responsibility for climate change, arguing that warming is primarily the fault of rich industrialized countries, and want the developed world to take on strict short-term emissions reduction targets. Developed nations, led by the U.S., argue that fast-growing developing nations like China and India will emit the vast majority of future carbon emissions, and that any deal that exempts them from action — as the Kyoto Protocol did — is a farce. Despite months of negotiations in Barcelona, Bangkok and other world cities, that gap remains vast.
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