Three weeks ago, the U.S. and China announced a landmark bilateral agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Secretary of State John Kerry heralded the agreement as a key step toward reinvigorating international negotiations on climate change.
His theory will be tested this week, when diplomats will converge on Lima, Peru to negotiate the next steps of the climate change regime. Althoughthere is some optimism, the prospects remains highly uncertain. The Kyoto Protocol expired in 2012, and so far, only a handful of countries have renewed their commitments, comprising only 12 percent of global emissions. Countries have set themselves a deadline of December 2015 to agree to Kyoto’s successor, but agreement appears a long way off. For starters, countries have not yet decided upon what the legal form of such an agreement would be, let alone agreed upon substantive commitments.