The US administration's position on climate change was in the spotlight last weekend as its delegation was booed in the closing hours of the marathon United Nations meeting in Bali.

Nevertheless, the issue is unlikely to be high on the presidential election agenda. Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, said in Bali: "It won't have much effect and I'm probably overstating it. It won't be [on the agenda] at the next election but it will be on the political agenda as we go forward. Every other place I've been in the last two years is talking about it in a more advanced way. It's not really discussed by the presidential candidates."

Mr Bloomberg went on: "Governments go through cycles and I believe that the issue of climate change will be taken on as more people understand [it]." He pointed out that the issue was having an effect on local politics, with hundreds of city mayors around the US having now taken a strong position on climate change.

"The problem is more in Congress, that's what I think. At the moment they're unwilling to face any issue that has cause to alienate any group of voters."


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