This Article examines some of the legal and political issues raised by the global debate over climate change, with the goal of providing helpful insight to guide future actions. It evaluates the results of the climate talks that took place in Copenhagen in 2010, with a particular emphasis on the opportunity missed by U.S. agriculture in achieving meaningful change. Disappointed by the results of that conference, the author compares the lackluster outcome there with the debate on cap-and-trade legislation in the United States. Detailing an era of missed opportunities, from January 2009 to July 2010, the Article examines the consequential effect on the United States’ ability to develop a more balanced renewable energy policy and for U.S. agriculture to participate in potential markets for carbon. The author concludes by looking forward to what may happen in U.S. politics on climate change and the impact on issues important to agriculture.
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