Obama delays deal on climate change

City A.M. Reporter
US PRESIDENT Barack Obama has acknowledged that time has run out for securing a binding deal for tackling global warming at next month&rsquo;s Copenhagen summit.<br /><br />But he and other world leaders have rallied around plans to avert a failure at the climate summit that would delay legally binding agreements until 2010 or even later.<br /><br />&ldquo;We should not make the perfect the enemy of the good,&rdquo; Obama told delegates at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Singapore.<br /><br />&ldquo;Given the time factor and the situation of individual countries we must, in the coming weeks, focus on what is possible,&rdquo; Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said.<br /><br />&ldquo;The Copenhagen Agreement should finally mandate continued legal negotiations and set a deadline for their conclusion,&rdquo; said the Copenhagen talks host, who flew into Singapore overnight to lay out his proposal at the Asian summit.<br /><br />Rasmussen&rsquo;s two-step plan would pave the way for a political accord at the December 7-18 talks, followed by tortuous haggling over legally binding commitments on targets, finance and technology transfer on a slower track, though still with a deadline.<br /><br />In particular, it would give breathing space for the US Senate to pass carbon-capping legislation, allowing the Obama administration to bring a 2020 target and financing pledges to the table at a major UN climate meeting in Bonn in mid-2010.<br /><br />Analysts say it needs to pass through the Senate early next year to avoid becoming pushed aside in the run-up to mid-term elections.<br /><br />&ldquo;There was an assessment by the leaders that it was unrealistic to expect a full, internationally legally binding agreement to be negotiated between now and when Copenhagen starts in 22 days,&rdquo; said senior US negotiator Michael Froman told reporters after the meeting, which was attended by leaders of the United States, China, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Australia and Indonesia.<br />