Friday :: Dec 14, 2007

The climate deal that isn't


by Turkana

You might soon begin hearing about a major climate agreement coming out of Bali. The Guardian has the lede:

The world was poised to agree an historic deal to tackle global warming tonight, as a last-minute compromise appeared to have saved the UN climate talks.

Yvo de Boer, the UN's top climate official, said countries were on the "brink of agreement" as the discussions dragged on into the early hours of the morning in Bali.

Sounds great! Sounds exciting!

Except:

The Bali agreement will trigger two years of intense negotiations over how to prevent a likely 4C rise in global temperatures this century.

A deal to negotiate for two more years on how to make a deal to deal with it?

The agreement commits countries to agree a new deal by 2009, which would come into force in 2013.

Kyoto expires in 2012. So, the big news out of Bali will be that the world will continue to drag out negotiations- strike that- intense negotiations- for another two years, to reach a final deal by 2013. Is someone dealing off the bottom of the deck? Or is it that they think no one's playing with a full deck, and they can just catapult the propaganda and we'll all believe they accomplished something?

Yes, the metaphors are coming fast and furious, and they're pretty lousy. There's no other way to write about this:

In a move that was widely expected, Europe was reported tonight to have dropped its demands for a 25%-40% cut on 1990 levels by 2020, a proposal that was bitterly opposed by the US.

So, Europe yelled at the Bush Administration to wake up, and the Bush Administration thumbed its nose and said no! And Europe huffed and puffed and... wheezed.

As Reuters reports:

"I think that the situation is good, the climate in the climate conference is good, that we will have success in the end," German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a shift to conciliation with Washington after confrontation on Thursday.

"All parties are willing to be flexible, to search for a compromise," he said of Europe's past insistence that Bali should set tough 2020 guidelines for greenhouse gas cuts despite opposition from Washington.

All parties except one, that is. Have Europe's leaders been taking their cues from Congressional Democrats? Make a lot of noise and back down? After all, it's not like the stakes are particularly high, or anything. And it's certainly not like we're running out of time.

But Europe's ostensible leaders have agreed to engage in more intense negotiations, to continue to drag out the process, to not force hard emissions cuts, and to generally do nothing substantive, for now. I hope they had a nice time. I hear Bali's quite beautiful.

Watch how the corporate media play this one. And what's the latest news about Britney?

Turkana :: 11:10 AM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!