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Negotiations: A call for alternative international climate forums


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In a new Council on Foreign Relations report, author Joshua Busby said last year's clamorous summit in Copenhagen, Denmark -- at which the United States and a handful of other countries hammered out a political agreement only to have it blocked by an even smaller handful enraged at being left out of the discussions -- underscored the weakness of global conferences in solving global problems.

"Moving forward, countries must diversify the institutions and instruments they use to pursue effective climate governance," wrote Busby, a professor at the University of Texas' Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.

The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) -- the body through which nearly 200 nations are trying to develop a new agreement to either beef up or replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol -- should still be a key forum, Busby writes. But he warned against being "overly preoccupied with a single venue."

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