Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.
Display:
I caught a few stories in ElPais.com yesterday night about the Copenhagen Summit. The narrative is: Europe feels defeated and sidelined, Obama unleashed a strong diplomatic offensive on all levels and the US "won". Hopefully I'll find time to diary this tonight. All links are in Spanish (for those who can read it or stad Google Translate). I am not sure whether there's reportage in English carrying the same message.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 08:15:45 AM EST
The Danish press blames China.

Since it's a foreign policy, this would normally be plagiarised from the Anglophone press (Danish newsies, as a rule, do not read German or French, let alone Russian, Arabic or non-European languages). But since the event took place in Copenhagen, it may reflect the Danish government's li(n)e instead.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 08:20:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
El Pais claims that Obama personally managed to get a deal after inserting himself into a high-level meeting consisting of Wen of China, Lula of Brasil, Zuma of South Africa and Singh of India. It is suggested that China engineered a timetable clash to make this 5-way meeting happen. Russia and Europe were left out by design or by chance.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 08:45:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I first spotted the story Friday evening last at Politico.com

President Barack Obama burst into a meeting of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian leaders to try and reach a climate agreement in late Friday negotiations in Copenhagen.

Chinese protocol officials objected to Obama's presence in the meeting, according to a senior administration official, who said that the president didn't want the leaders negotiating in secret.

The dramatic meeting came after a day the White House spent in a whirlwind of meetings trying to save the Copenhagen climate talks from complete meltdown. ...

Lurid, yes?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 10:14:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After some logical wrangling, Obama headed into a roughly hour and a half meeting with all four leaders. Eventually, those negotiations resulted in, according to the senior administration official, a "meaningful agreement" between the most powerful nations.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 10:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"meaningful agreement" or "breakthrough" is the phrase that anchored most MSM descriptions this weekend. Despite subsequent contradictions of US counter-parties in the spontaneous negotiations.

FWIW, G77 arrived/departed seeking Westworld -40%/1990 reduction/Kyoto continuance.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 10:52:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So China, India, Brazil and South Africa screwed the G77?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 11:17:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. The US Congress "screwed" the G77. And Mr Obama was its messenger. The anglophone press wants to indict the intransigence of China, India, and Brazil on acquiescing limitation on and verification of GHG emissions by EU Council stooges. This indictment is intended to disguise the conspicuous absence of reciprocity tendered by so-called developed nations. Singh and Wen have tossed around the word "sovereignty" a lot since Westworld began sucking the life out of the "meaningful agreement." Lula has to pay for the Olympics and may as well be protecting interests of Brazil RE owners in REDD windfall: not surprising. I don't know what the fuck SA has to do with anything other than pitching relief for Zenawi. Black faces, high places, blah blah, mining, blah blah. I'll have to investigate that angle.

More interesting, will Morales et al. extort REDD rents from petroleum sequestration?

I expect there will be reading about "south-south" trade pacts --financed by China-- regardless of how the Westworld spin on COP.x plays out. There's always Gaddafi though and ....DESERTEC!! bwahahahaha

I'd read the draft proposal if I were you, particularly items 4, 5, 12. G77 initially attempted to broker 1.5 degrees. Then Morales doubled down --ha!-- the day before Buh Weet's visitation. You remember that play, surely.

What a crew...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 02:41:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and chavez smelt sulphur again.

the new brut?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 06:20:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what the fuck SA has to do with anything other than pitching relief for Zenawi.
Was Southafrica implicitly recognised as the African hegemon, or was it the token African nation in the deal?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 09:02:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am under the impression that China, India, Brazil and South Africa has established a standing cooperation (represented by the acronym CIBS or IBSAC) in international negotiations like WTO, primarily in response to the EU, USA and Japan dealing amongst themselves.

So my guess would be that South Africa has a given place in their cooperation. That place might in itself be a reflection of its status as African hegemon.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 12:19:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why has South Africa replaced Russia from BRIC? Did BRIC never exist outside the feverish imagination of the neocons? Was the Shanghai Cooperation Organization a mirage?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 12:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Did BRIC never exist outside the feverish imagination of the neocons?

Well, they actually had a summit last summer.

BRIC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The BRIC countries met for their first official summit on 16 June 2009, in Yekaterinburg, Russia,[19] with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Dmitry Medvedev, Manmohan Singh, and Hu Jintao, the respective leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China, all attending.

But one summit does not build an organization. (And how long before that have we not heard about the BRIC-bogeyman?)

Brazil, South Africa, India and China has cooperated at least since 2001.

Doha Development Round - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The most significant differences are between developed nations led by the European Union (EU), the United States (USA), and Japan and the major developing countries led and represented mainly by India, Brazil, China, and South Africa.

They do not appear to always cooperate, but between them they probably has massive power in the G-77, and it is in their interests to keep it this way, by not being split by the JEUUS (Japan, EU and US, (I can also create abbreviations)).

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 02:49:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Renders better as Japan, European States, and US!

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 07:24:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as opposed to CHina, Russia, India, South africa and Taiwan?  Brazil, Uraguay, Dominican repub, Argentina, Honduras?  Alebanon, liberia, arabia h
by njh on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 07:36:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
stupid uneditable posts.  left as an exercise for the bored :)
by njh on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 07:37:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
India is not in the SCO?

For the climate arena, the views of Russia are immaterial, insofar as they will be easily bought off.

Besides, people started talking about BRICS some time ago?

Don't know what the deal with SA is because there are several countries more populous and powerful (Indonesia, to take one, or Mexico) and SA isn't very representative of sub-saharan Africa. But maybe they managed to organise the African community in some useful way to let them do the speaking?

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 03:20:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a good way to construct the question. I can't help thinking though, token hegemon is the most apt description of the roles created for a "meaningful agreement" starring the only superpower. Because US diplomacy expresses itself in one of two modalities --unilateral or bilateral-- I'm afraid continental symbolism was really the driving force behind and drama of the 11th hour meeting. Asia. Africa. India. The Americas.

Europe? Oops. Who would Bush call?

Tutu rallied in Copenhagen and is sympathetic to Buh Weet's moral challeges. I can imagine the transatlantic plea, after Di-Aping metaphorically beat the crap outa Zenawi.

OBAMA: Zenawi is useless. I need your help. Can you help me?

ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: Please, please help give the world a real deal. Give the world a real deal. Help, help, help. Make sure that there is enough money to help developing countries make the adjustment. OK?

OBAMA: Otay.
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: I'll leave the key to the conference room under the mat in front of door 823 by the housekeeping station on P7 east wing Q3.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 01:22:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm afraid continental symbolism was really the driving force behind and drama of the 11th hour meeting. Asia. Africa. India. The Americas.

Europe? Oops. Who would Bush call?

Reportedly Obama met with Russia's Medvedev just before his summit with China, India, Brazil and South Africa. I guess it's all of Eurasia that was left out.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 01:30:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stage crew always gets left out.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 01:53:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
heh, it's true...

i think europe makes them all look bad.

that's why she's getting shunned.

and we could do a lot better!

lonely at the top?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 08:45:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See here.

(Planned) co-operation and development between India, Brazil and South Africa has been fairly recent, and is focused on the southern hemisphere trading between the nations. Economically, it does make sense but I don't know how practical the alliance has been.

Nor do I know if the IBSA alliance was of importance to get SA around the table in Copenhagen. But IBSA does show that an alliance with Brazil and India is not unusual for SA.

by Nomad on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 02:26:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Get a grip, people. Milk yer innerboobs...

AMY GOODMAN: We are back in New York, but the climate summit in Copenhagen did come to a close on Saturday, when Democracy Now! was still there, with the world's nations reluctantly agreeing "to take note of," but not endorse, a non-binding accord President Obama announced Friday night. Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework for Climate Change, described the deal as a, quote, "modest success" and a "letter of intent."

In a recorded speech Friday night, President Obama declared that an agreement had been reached after a closed-door session with the leaders of Brazil, China, India and South Africa.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today we've made meaningful and unprecedented--made a meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough here in Copenhagen. For the first time in history, all major economies have come together to accept their responsibility to take action to confront the threat of climate change.

AMY GOODMAN: The twelve-page agreement seeks
to limit global warming to a maximum of a two degree Celsius rise in temperature. But it does not specify targets for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

During a brief question-and-answer period restricted to the White House traveling press corps, President Obama defended the non-binding nature of the agreement.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It will not be legally binding, but what it will do is allow for each country to show to the world what they're doing, and there will be a sense on the part of each country that we're in this together, and we'll know who is meeting and who is not meeting the mutual obligations that have been set forth.

Read more...

LUCIA GREEN-WEISKEL
BEORGE MONBIOT

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 03:52:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Face it.

European Union carbon-dioxide allowances for delivery in December 2010 declined 8.3 percent to close at 12.45 euros ($17.82) on the European Climate Exchange in London. Today was the first day of trading since the summit concluded Dec. 19....

Today's decline for permits in the EU, which runs the world's largest cap-and-trade system, extends last week's drop of 6.8 percent and left prices at the lowest since March 31. Allowances for delivery in December 2010 have fallen 24 percent this year as the lack of progress on climate talks and recession reduced demand.

Second-Biggest Market

The UN's Certified Emission Reductions credits for delivery next year fell 7.2 percent, the biggest one-day fall since Feb. 20, to close at 10.98 euros in London. The credits, which trade in the world's second-biggest carbon market, are down 20 percent this year....

Projects are now approved on a case-by-case basis and must show they need credits to be feasible. That approval process has produced a backlog, with 66 percent of 5,641 of the proposed projects that the UN received since 2003 waiting as of Dec. 4, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The proposal for industry baselines would have meant more credits, traders said.

"I find it incredibly frustrating" that countries can spend days discussing potential technological solutions to climate change such as synthetic trees while they "punt critical issues like standardized baselines" to a technical working group for a year, Carnahan said.

This CDS circus is worthless if rest of world refuses to assume 100% of the risk.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 04:34:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The blame China story gains steam:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/22/copenhagen-climate-change-mark-lynas

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful "deal" so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 05:25:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm, I say, not sporting.

What I saw was profoundly shocking. The Chinese premier, Wen Jinbao, did not deign to attend the meetings personally, instead sending a second-tier official in the country's foreign ministry to sit opposite Obama himself. The diplomatic snub was obvious and brutal, as was the practical implication: several times during the session, the world's most powerful heads of state were forced to wait around as the Chinese delegate went off to make telephone calls to his "superiors".

This guy seems to recollect the plenary session, not the US-BICSA soiré to which no press were invited. He doesn't name G-77, which proposed the 1.5C in opposition to G8 2C ceiling; doesn't mention India which went in refusing any limits and verification; insinuates the Chinese delegation proposed no domestic targets, not even -40%/2005*; and AND represents China having failed some kinda fiduciary duty to G-77 membership.

Why did China, in the words of a UK-based analyst who also spent hours in heads of state meetings, "not only reject[!] targets for itself (1, 2, 3), but also refuse to allow any other country to take on binding targets?" The analyst, who has attended climate conferences for more than 15 years, concludes that China wants to weaken the climate regulation regime now "in order to avoid the risk that it might be called on to be more ambitious in a few years' time".

Really, that's just a disgraceful way to present oneself.

---
* energy intensity unit per unit of GDP which is no less valid a metric of emission control than a
carbon offset allocation, i.e. kgoe per capita or per USD, respectively.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 11:41:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody won.
by njh on Wed Dec 23rd, 2009 at 07:30:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series