It seems unlikely that an agreement on the terms of the next climate treaty could be reached at the December-scheduled Copenhagen talks. The United States, not a member of the Kyoto Protocol and one of the major players in the international negotiations tussle over the climate treaty, has not yet reached a consensus over how to reduce carbon emissions and a bill successfully passing through the Senate in 2009 seems quite difficult.
The major issues that US lawmakers need to look into are, first, how to make the transition from carbon-intensive fossil fuels to clean renewable energy sources and, second, how to finance this transition without burdening the people with any significant monetary load.
The proposed carbon trading scheme has attracted criticism from the environmentalists since it allows the government to distribute emission permits to the industries free of cost. A bill proposing a nationwide carbon tax was also introduced in the US Congress but experts fear that, if implemented, the bill would put a financial burden of more than $1000 per year on the US households.