Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bali Agreement: Mixture of Limburger and Swiss Cheese

Here are a few excerpts from The Star and CBC articles on the Bali agreement.

As per usual Canada was being obstructive to the last:

Late last night, it wasn't clear whether the other track of negotiations, for the 37 countries with Kyoto targets, would include the 2020 goal of a 25 to 40 per cent emissions cut for rich nations.

Canada, on the sidelines during most of the talks, was said to be urging its removal, arguing the target would be impossible to attain.

A compromise proposal was vague and contained no binding commitments. The compromise does not commit developing nations to anything either.

"Witoelar's proposal provided a basis for a long-expected compromise, producing a relatively vague mandate for the two years of negotiations. As worded, his draft "Bali Roadmap" would not guarantee any level of binding commitment by any nation.

On developing countries, including such big emitters as China and India, the draft would instruct negotiators to consider incentives and other means to encourage poorer nations to voluntarily curb growth in their emissions."

The developing countries are only to discuss targets, some advance as opposed to not even talking. The Harper government and the Liberals could coach the developing nations on how to talk about targets without doing much of anything. Harper can help his buddy Bush with more talk as well.

"The agreement to discuss emission-cutting measures would be a first for China, India and others in this group that have booming economies and pollution, and reject any impediments to their growth. Still, they're committing only to talk, not to actual emissions cuts or targets.

That's also the case, though, for the United States.

"It starts a negotiation that allows but doesn't require an outcome where the U.S. takes a cap," or limit on greenhouse gases, said David Doniger, climate policy director at the Washington-based Natural Resources Defence Council."

The United States has already managed to derail everything by creating a parallel process which will continue in Hawai in January. So there are now two tracks. The term parallel is perhaps not appropriate. THe second track is meant to compete with and perhaps derail the process of those on the Kyoto track.

"Canada and the 36 other nations that accepted emissions reduction targets under Kyoto's first phase will continue their negotiations – which have achieved little since they began two years ago – on tougher targets.

On the second track, those countries, along with the 150 or so others that agreed 15 years ago climate change must be tackled, but which don't have targets, will engage in more general discussions on how emissions could be cut. "

Like the two cheeses. The result is full of holes and stinks to high heaven.

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