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Climate Week Gets Hot

Thursday, 24 Sep 2009 | 3:52 PM ET

This could be a make-or-break year for the battle against climate change.

The list of events this Fall aimed at spurring action is staggering: a UN summit on climate change, New York City's Climate Week, The Clinton Global Initiativeannual meeting, the meeting of G20 nations in Pittsburgh, and the much-anticipated meeting of 120 countries in Copenhagen to develop a successor to 1997's Kyoto Protocol.

Hopes are high, but there have never been easy agreements when it comes to climate change.

Much of this year's negotiations will hinge on the willingness of the world's biggest polluters - including the U.S., China, and India - to curb greenhouse gas emissions. This set the backdrop for a major climate change cliffhanger during the week of September 21.

For the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting, energy and climate change is one of four main commitments. At CNBC, our coverage of the annual meeting started a week beforehand when Maria Bartiromo spoke with former President Bill Clinton. He was emphatic about the importance of fighting climate change, and candid about the challenges brought on by the recession. Clinton admitted that expensive energy projects had lost traction as commodity prices slipped, but said fund-raising is still on track to complete energy projects in low-income countries.

Despite discussions at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting, New York City hosted its own Climate Week. Events are designed to provide a comprehensive discussion on climate change, including forums on regulatory reform, and sustainable business practices. In Washington, meanwhile, representatives from the world's top 17 polluting countries met ahead of the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh to lay the groundwork for future discussions on carbon emissions. The events during the week of September 21 are the setup for what could be a major moment in the battle against climate change when world leaders decide on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol in December.

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