So shouts the headline at the Guardian. A farce indeed. First, we have US Senator John Kerry making a 100% guarantee to Copenhagen attendees that, should Copenhagen end with some sort of agreement, the US Congress will pass legislation in 2010 "that is going to have an impact on emissions." There is one not-so-small caveat:
John Kerry mentioned one key requirement that the talks had to meet in order to get US backing: China and other developing countries should meet the US demand for accountability on their emission cuts. This demand has so far been rejected by some larger developing countries.
China and India have resisted such demands in the past, and have continued to do so in Copenhagen...until Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attached a 100 BILLION dollar carrot to her global warming stick:
“In the context of a strong accord, in which all major economies stand behind meaningful mitigation actions and provide full transparency as to their implementation, the United States is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilising 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries," she said.
Hillary Clinton stressed that the US wanted the funding to benefit the poorest and most vulnerable countries, and insisted that developing countries allow measurement, reporting and verification of emissions curbs as part of a deal.
This news, coupled with China's subsequent "apparent" acceptance of the terms, might lead one to believe a great impasse had been overcome. They would be wrong. A closer scrutiny of China's actual response to the bribe being offered up shows China has no intention of being strong-armed.
Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said China is ready for "dialogue and cooperation that is not intrusive, that does not infringe on China's sovereignty."
Under the heavy blizzard blanket of a globally warmed sky, the Copenhagen group-hug has made little or no progress toward saving the world from itself. Even Obama won't be able to clean up the mess. Expectations are being lowered, desperation is setting in, and (by their own admission) Summit organizers are admitting they aren't ready for their leaders:
With just two days remaining, the inability to overcome disagreements about the shape of a deal to combat global warming led to hours of inaction today , while outside the negotiations police clashed with protesters who broke through a security cordon but failed in an attempt to storm the conference centre.
"We have made no progress" said a source close to the talks. "What people don't realise is that we are now not really ready for the leaders. These talks are now 18 hours late."
All is not lost, however. The wealth-redistributionists in Copenhagen got an inspiring pep talk from Socialist savante Hugo Chavez:
“our revolution seeks to help all people…socialism, the other ghost that is probably wandering around this room, that’s the way to save the planet, capitalism is the road to hell....let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us.”
There's that, at least.
[cross posted at Speak Out For America]