Copenhagen Dashed: AP Reports Lament That Bonn Climate Talks 'Slip Backward' and 'Stumble'
The reports each arrived via AP Writer Arthur Max. Mr. Max and conference attendees at climate negotiations in Bonn shouldn't be mad about having the opportunity to spend time in West Germany's former capital city. After all, the temperatures there, based on the current report for Tuesday and plus the three forecasted days in the graphic at the top right (seen currently at Google), are on track to be virtually identical to the city's pleasant historical August average highs and lows of 73 and 54 degrees, respectively, for August.
But despite the reasonably pleasant atmosphere (yeah, I know temps and climate aren't the same, so back off already), Mr. Max's August 6 and August 8 reports tell us that discussions between "rich" and "poor" countries have been quite frosty. Meanwhile, reactions from the the supporters of international statist expansion in the environmental movement who are on hand for the festivities have been quite heated. Overall, everyone, including the clumsy Mr. Max, is making mince meat of President Barack Obama's claim, occasionally echoed in establishment press outlets at the time, to have accomplished anything meaningful at last December's Copenhagen conference.
First, here are the opening paragraphs from Max's Friday missive:
Climate talks appear to slip backward
Global climate talks appeared to have slipped backward after five days of negotiations in Bonn, with rich and poor countries exchanging charges of reneging on agreements they made last year to contain greenhouse gases.
Delegates complained that reversals in the talks put negotiations back by a year, even before minimal gains were scored at the Copenhagen summit last December.
"It's a little bit like a broken record," said European Union negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger. "It's like a flashback," agreed Raman Mehta, of the Action Aid environment group. "The discourse is the same level" as before Copenhagen.
The sharp divide between rich and poor nations over how best to fight climate change - a clash that crippled the Copenhagen summit - remains, and bodes ill for any deal at the next climate convention in Cancun, Mexico, which begins in November.
"At this point, I am very concerned," said chief U.S. delegate Jonathan Pershing. "Unfortunately, what we have seen over and over this week is that some countries are walking back from progress made in Copenhagen, and what was agreed there."
Fortunately or unfortunately (I'm going with the former), there really wasn't much that "was agreed there," despite Pershing's posing, as Max revealed in his Sunday submission (bolds are mine):
Analysis: Climate talks stumble from Page 1
The new climate change treaty under negotiation for the past 2 1/2 years begins with a brief document called "A Shared Vision." The problem is, there isn't one.
The latest round of talks that concluded Friday showed that the 194 negotiating countries have failed to even define a common target or method for curbing greenhouse gases - just one example of the ongoing divide among rich and poor nations.
Talks began in 2007, with the aim of wrapping up a deal in Copenhagen last December. But that didn't happen, despite the presence of 120 heads of state or government. It ended instead with a three-page statement of intentions brokered by President Barack Obama.
Though less than expected, the Copenhagen Accord scored some breakthroughs. It boiled down the core elements of a deal to 12 carefully worded paragraphs, and it inscribed hard-fought compromises by the main protagonists, the U.S. and China.
Details were to be filled in by the next major conference in Cancun, Mexico, starting in November.
But the accord was never formally adopted. ... The paper was merely "noted" by the conference, stripping it of any legal force.
Now, much of the Copenhagen deal has been thrown open again.
As readers can see, Mr. Max couldn't stay consistent in his musings even in the space of five paragraphs. In the third paragraph above, he notes that a deal "didn't happen." But in the seventh, he says that "the Copenhagen deal has been thrown open again," as if a deal really was done.
What transpired in Copenhagen was not a "deal." If "the paper" had no "legal force" and could only be "'noted" by the conference," it really didn't rise even to the level of what most of us would consider a "memorandum of understanding." In other words, there really never was a "deal."
Then again, for journalists in "The Climate Zone" who have had years of practice presumptively insisting that human-caused global warming is settled science, when it's not -- not even the "warming" part, as one leading advocate admitted in one of the ClimateGate e-mails -- making the leap from "no deal" to a pretend "deal" hardly causes them to break a sweat.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.