Anna Chen – 22 December 2009
PREVIOUSLY: The story so far … One moment we were told there was a scandal brewing with the leaking of the ‘Danish Text‘, a stitch-up of the poor nations by the wealthy, with the US and Britain among those implicated (8th Dec 2009 onwards), the next moment, this happened.
The Copenhagen blame game continues with the media reaching a hysterical pitch in their attempts to demonise China over the disappointing results at the climate change summit.
The Guardian publishes another lurid smear, this time by someone called Mark Lynas and titled: “How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room”
Starring Mark Lynas as Sax Rohmer which, I guess, makes me Fu Manchu. (I recommend you read all the comments on the Guardian thread.)
So the cold war is alive and well.
Western spin is really pulling out all the stops, perhaps because we are onto you as the various blogs and forums show.
if anything, China got strong-armed into signing a weak deal when it should have held out as Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba and others have said.
The US and the rich nations use up almost all the carbon allowance in the atmosphere over the past 160 years, the US dithers over ten years of Bush, they refuse to ratify Kyoto, the Danish summit chair has to resign when she’s caught fast-tracking the rich nations’ deal, the West fail in their Kyoto pledges, Canada rips up its Kyoto deal and proceeds with exploiting its huge reserves of dirty oil, the US will only reduce emissions by 4% against the 1990 base year and not the 17% you describe as “serious cuts”, while China makes real strides in green technology, and so on.
But it is all China’s fault.
Hillary Clinton bursts into the conference demanding China [edit: eat merde] when the US didn’t even have anything to offer. They knew that the terms of the “verification” they demanded was an exercise in humiliation and China would not stand for it. The US can’t get anything meaningful past their senate, which includes some “wholly owned subsidiaries of the energy industry” (Monbiot) and resorts to sleight of hand.
But China is the villain.
As for Merkel, she is a massive hypocrite when you look at what her government’s been doing.
Even John Prescott pointed out that we’ve had our industrial revolution yet the poor countries have to halt in their tracks and people live on an average of $2 per day. [Update: see Prescott’s take here.]
But according to you China twirls its moustache and strokes its cat as it eats the planet for breakfast.
What other country has an entire city using solar powered appliances? Who else has planted such huge tracts of forest while loggers tear down the rest? China aims for 15% of its energy from renewables, it has revolutionised wind-turbines, makes a key component of electric car batteries, and so on. We in the UK can’t even meet our Kyoto promise.
The world says it’ll pay $100 billion [edit: previous error said million] into the global kitty. Yet how much does the US spend each year on wars? Something like a million dollars a day on petrol alone.
This game of smoke and mirrors is shameful. Dividing the world into angel and devil does not help, neither does throwing a hissy-fit when China baulks at signing the rich nations’ deal which condemns the poor nations to a slumdog future. At an early stage in its industrial development China is moving onto the right track. By all means criticise them when they screw up but give them credit for what they’re getting right. The future of the planet is too important for these political football games.
Seasons greetings, although seasons may soon be a thing of the past if the rich nations get their own way,
Practically a lone voice in the Guardian, George Monbiot writes:
Obama went behind the backs of the UN and most of its member states and assembled a coalition of the willing to strike a deal that outraged the rest of the world. This was then presented to poorer nations without negotiation: either they signed it or they lost the adaptation funds required to help them survive the first few decades of climate breakdown. … Pushing a strong climate programme through the Senate, many of whose members are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the energy industry, would have been the political battle of his life. Yet again, the absence of effective campaign finance reform in the US makes global progress almost impossible.
Almost forgot, Naomi Klein: Copenhagen’s failure belongs to Obama
UPDATE 2: A recent comment (not mine) at the above Guardian CIF thread:
The Guardian writer was trying to confuse the public by omitting the fact that the EU couldn’t even agree to its binding emission cut targets even by 2020 and they couldn’t fill that blank. He also omitted the fact that the US also refused to have its emission cut target by 2020 included in the draft. An 80% cut by 2050 on a global scale obviously would have painted a big panckage in the sky. When the rich countries have not honored their pledges to the Kyoto Protocol to cut their emissions and they couldn’t set binding short-term emission targets, how do we expect them to honor a long-term emission cut targets by 2050? In fact, Yvo de Boer in his last press conference said that the commitments to cut GHG emission by individual developing nations combined are far larger than those of the developed countries combined.
They want 80% cut by 2050 written into the accord so they could pressure the developing nations, because after all, the developing nations are the ones whose emissions will have to grow and peak as the year 2050 gets closer.
Above all, the writer didn’t even tell how the US and other rich nations were pretty successful in detrailing and deviating the negotiations over the Long-term Cooperative Action and amendments to the Kyoto Protocol, especially the Kyoto Protocol, the two documents that have legal binding over the rich countries. The writer didn’t even have the courage to mention the two most important documents, upon which any political declaration should have been based on.
It is the rich countries, the US, particularly, which has hijacked the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. That much should be clear to us all.
Wonder how long that’ll stay posted.
The real reason Copenhagen failed.
UPDATE 3: The international kitty is, of course $100 BILLION not million. Apologies.
UPDATE 4 (sigh!): A very clear article on what went wrong at Copenhagen.
“But what was this ‘deal’ that these obstinate rascals obstructed? “A 50% reduction in emissions by 2050 and an 80% reduction by the developed countries,” laments Mr Milliband. “Both were vetoed by China.” What he refers to of course is none other than the infamous Danish Text. But what he carefully omits from his account is the reason why this deal was ‘obstructed’.
“The Danish Text, which had been secretly put together by the US, the UK and Denmark, revealed the true aim of the rich countries in Copenhagen. There was to be a gesture towards cutting emissions, sure there was… on condition that the natural order and balance of the world remains unaffected, that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor, that growth and accumulation continue unhindered. The proposal would have sidelined the UN by handing power and control to the rich countries themselves; it would have entrenched global inequality by allowing the rich countries to emit 2.67 tonnes of CO2 per capita while granting developing countries only 1.44 tonnes; it would have handed control of climate change finance to the World Bank; it would have locked the world into a disastrous system of carbon trading; it would have attached tight strings to any financial aid; and it would have abandoned any interim 2020 targets. All in all, the ‘deal’ would have condemned the world, and the South in particular, to a climate catastrophe of unimaginable horror.”
The BBC says
John Prescott on China at Copenhagen
Martin Khor in the Guardian on the Copenhagen failure
George Monbiot on what the US has to offer
Global Comment with something useful to say on sinophobic hypocrisy
Ed Miliband accuses China.
Guardian admits China’s green plans leave US red-faced.
March 2012 and the Guardian acknowledges huge investment in renewables.