As the U.N. climate talks in Bangkok wound down today, the chief U.S. negotiator acknowledged that the United States may not agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions in a treaty this year until Congress passes its climate legislation.UPDATE: And this view from Europe:
"It will be extraordinarily difficult for the U.S. to commit to a specific number in the absence of action from Congress," State Department deputy climate envoy Jonathan Pershing said. "The question is open as to how much we can do. It's not really possible to answer."
Obama’s scope is limited because the U.S. Congress may not approve a domestic law to control emissions before the December deadline for signing an international climate accord in Copenhagen, Karl Falkenberg, director-general for environment at the European Union’s executive body, said in an interview.
“Obama and his administration are very committed, and it will be more than an embarrassment for them if at Copenhagen they would have to admit they are not ready,” Falkenberg said late last night in Bangkok, where more than 180 nations are meeting for talks. “We can just help, but helping them also means directly telling them that the world has an expectation.”