As I have written in several previous articles (key one here), US leadership is key in the ongoing climate talks in Copenhagen. Today, to my great surprise and astonishment, I was flipping through the headlines and noticed this on the NY Times: “U.S. Offer of Long-Term Aid Pushes Climate Talks Forward“. At long, long, last, the US is starting to move back to the heady days of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and action on reducing CFCs released into the atmosphere (or more formally, the Montreal Protocol).
Yes, the funding is tied to countries such as China improving their emissions reporting. Yes, the US is not raising the $100 billion / year by itself.
However, if done right, this flow of aid could drastically reduce the impacts of increasing emissions from countries as their economies develop. Emissions that will impact American citizens. To even go out on a broad limb, it could help reduce potential terrorist attacks by decreasing motivation for people to become radicalized.
More importantly, it moves to counter the increasing influence of China across the G-77 (Group of 77), where Chinese wealth and influence has been spreading, often counter to the desires of the US and Europe in countries such as Sudan.
If this will be enough to break the deadlock, or more importantly have any long-term consequences for reducing the impacts of climate change, will be seen. However, it is a step in the right direction.