This year, the United States is participating in the Group of Eight environment ministers meeting in Sicily, Italy; the goal is to replace the 1998 Kyoto Protocol and draft a new agreement to regulate carbon emissions.
“The U.S. government now fully acknowledges the urgency and complexity of climate-change challenges,” Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), told reporters last week. “And we know full well that a meaningful U.S. response to this challenge is absolutely essential.”
While former President George W. Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol, citing economic reasons and the fact that China and India were not participating nations, it seems President Obama is strongly in favor of U.S. participation. The EPA is set to declare carbon dioxide to be a harmful pollutant for the first time, which is seen as a precursor to regulating pollution linked to climate change, also known as cap and trade.