Sweden's Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren has a complicated problem.
Carlgren is trying to convince the developing world - densely populated countries like China and India - to cap their dirty fossil fuel emissions. However, these negotiations cannot be productive without demonstrating the merits of a comprehensive climate legislation, such as the bill circulating in the United States Senate. So, Sweden has moved to pressure
the U.S. Senate to go ahead and pass the House climate change bill, a far-reaching document that is otherwise known as the "cap and trade" initiative.
"It is crucial that the Americans deliver a reliable emission pathway," Carlgren told The Associated Press. "But that is dependent on the Senate's lawmaking."
Unfortunately for Carlgren, the U.S. Congress is entangled in health care legislation debates - and has since tabled the House climate change proposal.
But Carlgren has another problem: the earth may be entering a cooling period that could last for the next 20 years
. In the short-term modality of the U.S. legislative process, this information - tethered to the broader backdrop that global temperatures are already in decline
- presents a bigger challenge for the Swedish environment minister.
Regardless, Senate Democrats still have plans
to unveil their climate change bill at the end of September. That schedule may change should the health care discussions become more convoluted.