US to Seek Climate Framework in Copenhagen

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WASHINGTON (AFP) — Lack of action on the climate change bill bogged down in the US Senate will not stop Washington from seeking a framework to curb carbon emissions at next month's summit in Copenhagen, experts say."I don't think that anyone is expecting a legal pact at this point," Michael Levi, an expert on climate issues at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, told AFP.But US President Barack Obama already hinted this week that the United States would seek to create a "framework for progress" at the summit, which he said would pave the way to stem a "potential ecological disaster."No one expects the United States to arrive in Copenhagen with definitive targets for cutting its emissions of greenhouse gases or set numbers for helping developing nations combat climate change, two prerequisites for a deal, according to Levi."The Senate will still be working on the bill when Copenhagen begins and ends," he said, and possibly not agreeing on final wording until next year.The summit in the Danish capital has been set up to seal a treaty to succeed the landmark Kyoto Protocol — which the United States never signed. Kyoto's obligations to cut carbon emissions expire in 2012.The Republican minority in the Senate and Democratic lawmake rs from coal industry-reliant states are however fiercely opposed to the creation of a scheme for cutting carbon emissions, known as "Cap and Trade," which aims to promote development of clean energy sources. …