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Firstly, Nomad, excellent diary, well argued.

Secondly - I've been away for a bit - but the impression I got from the media is one of Obama rescuing some sort of s deal - any sort of a deal - from the shambles of a chaotic process which had too many actors and conflicting agendas ever to have had any prospect of success.  As such it is a minor PR rescue operation for Obama, and nothing more.  Certainly no meaningful progress in any objective sense.

If this debacle does not lead to some review and improvement of the process of how global Treaties are negotiated, I don't know what will.

The only positive I can take from the outcome is that the responsibility for taking the process forward now seems to lie squarely where it has to - on the largest polluters - China and the USA.  Europe is already a good deal more efficient in per capita and as proportion of GDP terms - and so has less scope for dramatic improvement in the short term.

The EU offer of 30% off 1990 levels compares to the US paltry offer of 3% off 1990 co2 levels - so how much further could the EU be expected to go especially when US 1990 levels were already so much higher?

While it is regrettable that the EU has now lost its leadership position in the one area of policy where it did have a global leadership position - in this case the spotlight has to be, and needs to be on the US and China.

I don't know if this will lead to a more positive outcome for COP16 - hopefully all leaders will be keen to avoid another Copenhagen cop-out - but the US claim for global leadership on anything positive will be on the table - as will China's pretensions to a global superpower role.

Perhaps the EU should start imposing a carbon tax on all imports (and local production) to reward the more efficient producers, but I suspect more unilateral action will be required before the global polity can move forward.  

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 21st, 2009 at 09:30:39 AM EST

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