World News Brief, Wednesday September 23

China promises carbon reduction while Coke, GE and BP urge swift action on climate change; US reasserts world leadership at UN (+ analysis); Netanyahu and Abbas meet in New York; piracy on the rise in Asia; and more

Top of the Agenda: UN Leaders Focus on Climate

World leaders meet today at the United Nations to work toward a global treaty to curb climate change (WashPost) in preparation for December's international conference on the issue in Copenhagen. The leaders of the world's two biggest carbon emitters, Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama will address the summit.

Hu is expected to say that China will include a reduction of carbon use (China Daily) in its economic blueprint for 2011-2015, but will not commit to absolute caps on its emissions (WSJ).

Ahead of the conference, a group of multinational conglomerates, including General Electric, BP and Coca-Cola, signed a statement urging governments to agree to implement carbon regulations (Bloomberg), create a global carbon market, and cut emissions by 85 percent by 2050.


CFR's Michael Levi discusses the challenges of reaching a new international climate deal before the Copenhagen conference in December.

CFR's Stewart Patrick says Obama's first appearance before the General Assembly is an opportunity to reassert U.S. leadership at the world body on an array of issues.

The New York Times says momentum on an international climate change pact may be hampered by the fact that global temperatures have been stable for a decade, even though scientists say the climate stability does not impact long-term warming effects of greenhouse gases.

In an interview with CFR, Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh says India plans to outline unilateral greenhouse gas emissions cuts soon. But he says rich states must commit to greater cuts of their own before developing countries can agree on binding global targets.

CFR's Elizabeth Economy says it would not be "unreasonable" to seek binding commitments from China and India on emissions that would take effect a decade from now. She also recommends decoupling China from other developing nations in climate negotiations.


Reuters reports on the pressure Obama faces from international powers and domestic environmental groups to more aggressively push for a global climate deal.


PACIFIC RIM: Piracy Spikes in Asia

An international piracy monitoring agency, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, says piracy in the South China Sea has hit a five-year high (Xinhua) so far this year. In the latest such attack, on Saturday, six pirates robbed the crew (BBC) of a tanker off Indonesia.

China: Newsweek says China has been hoarding minerals needed for the development of green technologies.



Netanyahu and Abbas hold talks on Mideast peace.
Afghan police oppose increase in U.S. troops.
Ousted President Zelaya returns to Honduras.


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