|If you want to know what I think is going on inside Prime Ministers' offices around the world, it's 'Let's kick this into the long grass.' Because that is what it will take to approach the problem. The short-termism is gone.|
--Benny Peiser, LTT, 14 November 2008
Copenhagen was essentially sidelined yesterday at another event, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's Climate Change Summit in New York. There, along with Chinese leader Hu Jintao, U.S. President Barack Obama more or less shuffled climate control policy off into the great
The UN Climate Change Summit in New York managed to produce a concrete result. It has nothing to do with CO2 reduction targets, however, but with a simple political insight: Forget Copenhagen! The chances that the Copenhagen summit will deliver more than just a non-binding framework agreement decreased further on Tuesday. They now tend towards zero.
Initially, many climate activists had hoped this year would yield a pact in which nations would agree to cut their greenhouse gas emissions under the auspices of a legal international treaty. But recent announcements by China, Japan and other nations point to a different outcome of U.N. climate talks that will be held in December in Copenhagen: a political deal that would establish global federalism on climate policy, with each nation pledging to take steps domestically.
The significance of the Chinese proposal is that it indicates that China is willing to join Europe, the United States and others in a fantasyland of climate policy detached from policy reality. It is hard to believe how that outcome leads some to greater optimism on climate policy.
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