UN Climate Talks Underway

Delegates from more than 200 countries are gathering today at the opening of the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Cancun, Mexico.

The two-week conference will see discussions on reviving the negotiations conducted at last year’s climate conference in Copenhagen, which ended without an agreement on a UN treaty to slow global warming.

According to  a Reuters article in the New York Times, global economic problems and disputes between the United States and China, the top two emitters, are expected to be major obstacles to any agreements on steps to slow climate change going forward.

Despite the current focus on the economy and related risks, Deutsche Bank recently warned that it expects the number of climate change related court cases in the U.S. to continue growing for the foreseeable future.

In its report, Growth of U.S. Climate Change Litigation: Trends & Consequences, Deutsche Bank noted that the number of climate change lawsuit filings doubled between 2006 and 2007, and already in 2010 these cases are on a path to triple over 2009 levels.

The largest increase in litigation has been in the area of challenges to federal action, specifically industry challenges to proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, according to DB Climate Change Advisors.

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