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Durban Talks

At Global Climate Talks, The U.S. and China Are Divided As Ever

Tom Zeller Jr. | Posted 02.06.2012 | Green
Tom Zeller Jr.

The somewhat deflating reality surrounding the global climate talks in Durban, South Africa -- now hurtling toward another arguably empty conclusion -- is that success or failure is heavily contingent on the whims of just two countries: China and the United States. The two nations, after all, produce far more climate-warming gases than their nearest competitors, and their mutual, steely-eyed refusal to budge from their bedrock negotiating positions tends to render even the most conciliatory gestures among lesser polluters both quaint and meaningless.