Is the Copenhagen Climate summit dead on day 2? Developing nations are furious over what is being dubbed the “Danish text”, a draft agreement that apparently gives rich nations every benefit while putting the UN’s role in the background. This has thrown the talks into disarray.

We seemed to be going into these negotiations from a position of authority and renewed worldwide leadership on the issue after the EPA ruled greenhouse gases a danger to public health and paved the way for President Obama to act as the Supreme Court has ruled he can.

If rich nations such as the U.S., U.K., and Denmark are not willing to come at this process with a fundamental Kyoto-like stance it might all be useless. We appear to be willing to give away the store to the World Bank. Among the concerns are that the new agreement would:

? Force developing countries to agree to specific emission cuts and measures that were not part of the original UN agreement;

? Divide poor countries further by creating a new category of developing countries called “the most vulnerable”;

? Weaken the UN’s role in handling climate finance;

? Not allow poor countries to emit more than 1.44 tonnes of carbon per person by 2050, while allowing rich countries to emit 2.67 tonnes.

This leak could be great news though if the pressure brought to bear over it causes the draft document to be abandoned and forces the hand of those wanting to force it upon the rest of the group. Hopefully we can take a step backward and re-engage the process in a meaningful way. President Obama needs to take the lead on this. Now is the time and executive action is needed.

  • Copenhagen was largely deemed dead already by most of the people I talked to at the G20.

    The EPA's move also didn't really give as a “strong” entering position. I'm sure it raised eyebrows, but don't forget that these people were basically treated like small children by W during the Kyoto talks. It likely put the U.S. back into serious discussions again, but I highly doubt it gave us any real strong bargaining power.

  • Good point. A better choice of words might have been “stronger”. It will be interesting to see what the EPA does from here and what kind of action we take unilaterally despite the blowup at Copenhagen.

  • Copenhagen was largely deemed dead already by most of the people I talked to at the G20.

    The EPA's move also didn't really give as a “strong” entering position. I'm sure it raised eyebrows, but don't forget that these people were basically treated like small children by W during the Kyoto talks. It likely put the U.S. back into serious discussions again, but I highly doubt it gave us any real strong bargaining power.

  • Good point. A better choice of words might have been “stronger”. It will be interesting to see what the EPA does from here and what kind of action we take unilaterally despite the blowup at Copenhagen.

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