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US unlikely to ratify international climate treaty

- Monday, July 06, 2009

Based on a report on Bloomberg, the USA may never ratify an international climate treaty, irrespective of the fate of US Climate legislation, because treaty ratification requires a two-thirds majority in the US Senate. This suggests that US agriculture may never face the problems Australian agriculture has with the euro-centric emissions accounting rules that preclude the inclusion of many agricultural sequestration activities being recognised in national greenhouse inventories.

According to Bloomberg, "The U.S. Senate may pass legislation to slow climate change and then fail to approve a global treaty that commits nations to do so, Senator John Kerry said. Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, will be a leader in Senate efforts to place the first domestic curbs on greenhouse gases, after the House approved a measure last week. Even if a Senate bill passes, there may not be enough support to ratify an international accord incorporating the U.S. commitments, the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview.

A possible Senate rejection poses a threat to the 192- nation effort to forge an agreement, which scientists say can help slow warming that’s raising sea levels and changing rainfall patterns globally. “We are definitely going to make more progress if there is a strong international agreement that the U.S. is a party to,” said Nigel Purvis, who in the 1990s worked as a U.S. negotiator on the Kyoto climate treaty that the U.S. didn’t ratify. Passing domestic climate-change legislation remains the most crucial step, Purvis said.

Senate ratification of a treaty would require 67 votes, compared with 60 for legislation

 

 

 

 

 
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