Norway Breaks Impasse at Bangkok Climate Talks

What a difference a day makes.

After filing a rather dismal story yesterday on the progress here in Bangkok at the United Nation's summit on climate change, there has been a significant development today with Norway set to announce that it is committing to a 40% reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. This target is based on 1990 levels, which is a significant deal.

Why is this significant?

Because Norway is the first developed nation to make any solid commitment on this front and it has the potential to break through a major impasse. Up until this point developed nations - like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France and Japan - have been unwilling to bring anything to the table on this point.

Bard Lahn from Friends of the Earth Norway offers a brief explanation:

Norway's announcement today puts Canada, one of the largest per-capita emitters of greenhouse gas in the world and the largest exporter of oil to the United States, in a difficult position as they have avoided any commitments with the excuse that Northern regions are in a much tougher spot when it comes to GHG reductions.

Dale Marshall from the Suzuki Foundation - a large Canadian environmental organization - explains:

Keep up on everything going on at the Bangkok talks and the upcoming meetings in Barcelona and Copenhagen on the International Climate Action Network's Eco Digital blog.

Here's a video interview with Norway's Chief Negotiator produced by a group of intrepid youth from the