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FEATURE

Bali: "Lead, follow or get out of the way"





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by The Environmentalist Contributors

Following a speech by the representative of Papua New Guinea, where he called upon the United States to: "lead, follow or get out of the way:"

The United States made a dramatic reversal Saturday, first rejecting and then accepting a compromise to set the stage for intense negotiations in the next two years aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. The final result was a global warming pact that provides for negotiating rounds to conclude in 2009.

The head of the U.S. delegation -- Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky -- was booed Saturday afternoon when she announced that the United States was rejecting the plan as then written because they were "not prepared to accept this formulation." She said developing countries needed to carry more of the responsibility.

-snip- The [Papua New Guinea] delegate challenged the United States to "either lead, follow or get out of the way." Just five minutes later, when it appeared the conference was on the brink of collapse, Dobriansky took to the floor again to announce the United States was willing to accept the arrangement. Link.

The talks will continue to iron out concerns from India, so it is not complete as yet, but, with the U.S. agreement to compromise, a major obstacle has been removed.

(Note: That compromise removes the specific climate target numbers, but does include the scientific studies that recommend those targets as a footnote).

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