Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A discordant accord

It was an extraordinary sight: the leaders of more than 20 countries, including US president Barack Obama and the heads of most of the world's other biggest economies, herded with an adviser or two each into a small room on Friday morning, poring over a short piece of prose with red pens. The atmosphere grew tense as they sweated over amendments to a text they hoped would form the basis of a new climate change agreement. If they succeeded, it would be a historic deal: the first to bind both developed and developing nations to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Failure would mean political humiliation at home and ultimately a potentially disastrous rise in the world's temperature. The unscheduled meeting took place upstairs at a Copenhagen conference centre where, for the previous fortnight, the leaders' senior officials and ministers had engaged in increasingly fractious arguments. What emerged late on Friday night, after hours of hard bargaining, including a showdown between Mr Obama and the leaders of China and the other big developing economies, was a document to be known as the Copenhagen accord. The three-page declaration by the biggest developed and developing countries made tentative commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and proposed financing from the rich to poor countries to help them do likewise. Mr Obama said it was the first time in history all the leading economies had come together to take action on global warming, but even proponents had to admit the accord fell well short of what they had hoped for after years of negotiation...read more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the reaction of the enviros, Democrats, and pundits had George Bush or Ronald Reagan come back from such a summit with a 12 paragraph student essay like President Obama? Our current president has no sense of the preservation of the prerogatives of his office, which are essential to having a strong executive in foreign policy. Time to send this guy back to a few more terms in the finishing school know as the Senate.