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The sections below are now a bit dated and have been moved off the main article page.--Bob Burton 15:04, 19 November 2009 (EST)

A complicating factor in the preparatory negotiations was the refusal of the United States during the term of the George W. Bush administration -- which in 2004 emitted a little over one-fifth of current annual greenhouse gases -- to engage constructively in the negotiations.[1]
However, as Obama did not assume office until late January 2009 and doubts have been raised that there will be sufficient time to finalize an agreement unless the pace of negotiations accelerates substantially.[2]
Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, stated that they would "also create a Global Energy Forum of the world's largest emitters to focus exclusively on global energy and environmental issues." They also pledge to implement a domestic "cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050" with "all pollution credits to be auctioned, and proceeds will go to investments in a clean energy future, habitat protections, and rebates and other transition relief for families."[3]
Already leading players in the negotiations are considering the prospect that no agreement is reached at COP15 or immediately afterwards. In September 2008 the main climate change adviser to the Australian government, Professor Ross Garnaut, outlined the results of three scenarios his team had modelled. The first was for an international agreement which aimed to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 550 parts per million, which was Garnaut's preferred option. The second scenario was what he dubbed the 'Copenhagen Compromise' in which "binding commitments to quantitative reductions in emissions only by developed and transitional economies, plus perhaps some other high-income countries" are agreed to. While stating this was a "likely minimum outcome" from the process "over the next few years," Garnaut argued that it would at least "place developed countries on the track toward decarbonisation. By demonstrating that decarbonisation is indeed compatible with prosperity and continued growth, it would keep alive the possibility of later, comprehensive, if delayed, global action."[4] The third scenario was what he referred to as the 'Waiting Game' scenario in which the Copenhagen meeting "fails completely to achieve an international agreement with binding commitments at least from developed countries." In this scenario, countries would operate limited domestic emission reduction strategies but would cut off from the possibility of buying or selling emission reduction credits via an international emissions trading scheme.[5]
  1. "Emissions of Greenhouse Gases Report", U.S. Energy Information Administration, November 28, 2007.
  2. "Slow going at climate talks in Accra – governments must speed up negotiations", Global Wind Energy Council, Media Release, August 28, 2008.
  3. Obama-Biden campaign,"New Energy for America", Obama-Biden campaign website, accessed November 2008.
  4. Ross Garnaut, "Targets and trajectories: Supplementary Draft Report", Garnaut Climate Change Review, September 2008, pages 14-15.
  5. Ross Garnaut, "Targets and trajectories: Supplementary Draft Report", Garnaut Climate Change Review, September 2008, pages 42.