Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bali agreement on a 2009 climate pact

Bloody hell, how hard is it for the US to accept the science? What an other-world reality they have about global warming. Complete denial is head-shaking stuff, but, hey, we were there not a month ago living under John Howard's special brand of 25 stations, nuclear-powered delusion.

Reality bumped Howard out of the way, and put Kyoto Kevin on the winner's dais.

And reality is crudely bumping a recalcitrant, intransigent US along in the direction that the progressive front-runners are heading in.

Overall it's better than I expected, but less than I hoped for. And I am pleased that the Washington wrecking crew did not manage to spoil further.

My prediction is that come the start of the 2009 climate pact meeting the first black, female, or climate-friendly, white, male Republican US President will receive the same rousing standing-ovation that greeted Kevin Rudd when he set in train the Kyoto Protocol ratification.

It is highly symbolic that he chose Kyoto ratification for his first act as Australian Prime Minister. Rudd has set a precedent; he has set-up a stage for a correctly thinking, new US President to step onto and send a powerful signal of, not just an engagement with the rest of the world on climate change solutions, but a highly symbolic collaborative re-engagement. It would improve their global image problem, overnight. As it has Australia's under Rudd's ratification.

clipped from
Bali talks set 2009 for new climate pact

A drama-filled 190-nation conference set a 2009 deadline for a landmark pact to fight global warming after an isolated United States backed down on last-ditch objections.

The United States, the only major industrial nation to reject Kyoto, reached a compromise with the European Union (EU) to avoid mentioning any figures as a target for slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

The agreement instead only makes an indirect reference to scientists' warnings that the world must sharply cut back emissions to prevent a rise in temperatures that would put millions of people at risk.

But on an unscheduled 13th day of talks, the United States said it would not accept the statement as it wanted developing countries such as fast-growing China to make tougher commitments.

Senior US negotiator Paula Dobriansky said she had heard "many strong statements from many major developing country leaders on a greater role in helping to address urgently this global problem".

It "doesn't seem it's going to be reflected in our outcome here in the declaration," she said, telling the conference that the United States would reject the draft.

Dobriansky was loudly booed by other delegations. A US environmental activist representing Papua New Guinea said on the floor to rousing cheers: "If you're not willing to lead, please get out of the way."

After repeated verbal lashings, Dobriansky again took the microphone and said that Washington would "go forward and join consensus," to the cheers of the conference.

Indian Science Minister Kapil Sibal, who had been vocally critical of the US position, offered his thanks to the United States for not blocking the consensus.

"We believe that they too are as equally committed as the rest of the world to combat climate change. So thank you very much to the delegation of the United States for coming on board," Sibal said.

The agreement came only after the head of the United Nations jetted in, the UN climate chief nearly broke down in tears and chairman Indonesia apologised abjectly for a disastrous procedural mix-up.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon flew in to make an unscheduled last-minute appeal for a deal.

"Seize the moment, this moment, for the good of all humanity," Ban pleaded.

"The world is watching," said Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

"The worst thing that can happen is for our great project, for the human race and our planet Earth to crumble because we cannot find the right wording."

blog it


smoo said...

It's not the US. It's George Bush.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we know the difference. We like Americans themselves, not their leader's selfish and dangerous policies.

Derrick said...

i have avery important Questions for you. In the mean time, who is the worst polluter in the world?