The Obama administration submitted its much-anticipated reduction target to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat under the Copenhagen Accord, a non-binding deal brokered by the United States last month at the U.N.-sponsored climate talks. Under the deal President Obama helped secure in Copenhagen, major emitters of greenhouse gases are expected to "inscribe" their reduction targets by Jan. 31.
The commitment states that the United States will cut its emissions "in the range of 17 percent, in conformity with anticipated U.S. energy and climate legislation, recognizing that the final target will be reported to the Secretariat in light of enacted legislation." It remains unclear if Congress will pass a comprehensive climate bill this year.
Ned Helme, president of the D.C.-based Center for Clean Air Policy, said as the deadline approaches, it is becoming clear that the world's biggest carbon emitters are going to follow through on voluntary pledges they made in the run-up to last month's talks.
"Now the smoke has cleared, people are now taking the Copenhagen Accord more seriously," Helme said. "You're going to see all the major players sign up."
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