President Bush's opposition to the Kyoto Protocol (or indeed the very idea that we should try to do anything about human-induced climate change) is well known - but obviously, not everyone in the US shares his views. And so, they're working around him. Officials in nine north-eastern states have reached a preliminary deal to reduce power plant emissions, first freezing them at current levels, then slashing them by 10% by 2020. This is a fairly unambitious target, especially compared with the target of 7% below 1990 levels that the US would have had to meet by 2012 if it had stayed in the Kyoto process, but it's a start. And if it provokes the sort of technological change that saw the UK's emissions improve (a block-replacement of old coal-fired generation plant with new, more efficient gas) then it may succeed by far more than that.