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U.N. presses Senate for climate bill action

WASHINGTON – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Senate Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday and urged them to save international climate talks next month by speeding up work on a climate and energy bill.

Ban’s admonition to the Senate comes as many are worried that next month’s talks in Denmark won’t produce a worldwide agreement to cut emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

In contrast to his earlier hopes for a formal climate treaty in Copenhagen, Ban now expects that world leaders would sign a “robust global agreement that can serve as the foundation of a climate treaty.”

Negotiators from some 190 countries are set to meet in Denmark from Dec. 7 to 18.

Other countries are waiting to see what the U.S. will do about emissions cuts before they firm up their own action plans.

With passage widely seen as impossible before the international session, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said that he and Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, were working to line up support so that they could give what Kerry called an outline of what the Senate will debate on the floor.

It remains unclear whether Kerry and his colleagues will be able to come up with a plan that will convince the rest of the world that the U.S. is on the brink of action.


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