It is a start. That’s the best assessment of the agreement produced by the 190-some governments at the United Nations climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia, earlier this month. After an abrupt U-turn by the United States, delegates reached consensus on a new framework for tackling global warming.

Significantly, this deal requires both developed and developing nations to commit to measurable, verifiable action. If implemented, the agreement could slow and perhaps even stop global climate change. That is a big “if” and history is not encouraging.

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