DOHA, Qatar —
Hopes for stronger U.S. leadership in the U.N. talks under Obama were dashed when emissions-capping legislation stalled in Congress. But expectations rose anew this year after Hurricane Sandy pushed climate change back in the domestic political debate.
After his re-election, Obama talked about “the destructive power of a warming planet,” and said he hoped to open a national conversation on the issue.
“I think what we saw from the U.S. in Doha was a mixed performance,” said Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
He said the U.S. was a “major impediment” in negotiations to ramp up climate aid to help poor countries shift to clean energy and adapt to rising sea levels and other impacts of climate change.