Summary – The US Position on Climate Change Leading Up to COP15

Despite the fact that the USA will attend COP15 in Copenhagen without signed domestic legislation, President Obama and the US delegation have diverged from the previous US policy position regarding the international climate change negotiations and have promised emissions reductions, as long as certain conditions are met. The USA has specific expectations of the international community – particularly, developing nations – that must be met in order for the USA to consider signing an international climate treaty. Although ratification of an international treaty and federal legislation will have to wait until after COP15, US states and cities are taking measures into their own hands by establishing emissions reduction expectations, implementing new green infrastructure and urban planning initiatives, as well as introducing a preliminary cap and trade system.