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Friday, December 14, 2007

BaliBuzz: U.S. Finally Dragged Kicking And Screaming into UN Climate Deal

Apparently the United States delegation to the Bali International Climate Negotiations - well the fake delegation, not the real delegation - has finally been dragged, kicking and screaming, into some kind of agreement on a road map to proceed on post-Kyoto Protocol international climate change negotiations.

Details on what that deal is are emerging, and I hope to hear more soon from our "correspondent" at Bali, Richard Graves. However, for now, this is from Reuters:

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - The United States on Saturday dropped opposition to a compromise plan to launch talks on a new U.N. climate treaty after pleas from other nations.

"We will go forward and join consensus," Paula Dobriansky, heading the U.S. delegation, told the 190-nation meeting to cheers from many in the audience, minutes after triggering boos by saying Washington was opposed.

The proposed compromise, breaking a deadlock between rich and poor nations, had been supported by all other previous speakers, including the European Union.

The Bali Negotiations these past two weeks have revealed as the farce it is the US arguments that point the finger at China and other developing nations rising emissions as an excuse for the world's largest emitter* to sit on it's hands while our chances to build a sustainable, just, and prosperous future slip away.

This line "What about China?" has been heard for a decade, every time someone even utters the words "international climate agreement" or "binding emissions reductions" in the United States. Well, in the words of Richard Graves,
"At Bali, the Chinese government and many other developing countries came forward with real proposals to act. They came in all seriousness, recognizing the urgency of action, and the United States and Canada blocked CHINA and other developing countries from acting. If the Bali conference puts a stake in the heart of that dirty little lie, it will at least have done something positive."

Check out for tons of dispatches from Bali, written by several members of the international youth delegation to Bali, the true stakeholders at the negotiations. There's been dozens of posts over the course of the past couple weeks. Look for the "BaliBuzz" tag in the headlines for stories from Bali.

*OK fine, China may have surpassed the US in terms of total annual emissions, but a) the United States effectively "offshores" all of the emissions associated with the goods we import - much of it from China; and b) since carbon dioxide sits in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, cumulative emissions what drive climate change, and the US is responsible for the most cumulative emissions and will be for some time. So the US is still the nation most responsible for global warming.

1 comment:

Jesse Jenkins said...

What a frustrating week this has been, with the failure of the Senate to pass a good energy bill, and the frustrating, hard-fought efforts for small progress in Bali.

But I still can't help but feel that we're building continually towards the tipping point. It'll come in 2009 it seems, but it'll come nonetheless. I for one am tired of waiting - hence the frustration - but the climate deniers and detractors and those dastardly "roadblock Republicans" are losing steam, losing ground and soon losing their seats.

Your mission in 2008: keep up the Power Shift and forge ahead towards the tipping point!