No world climate deal at Copenhagen

Rick Moran
We can all breathe a little easier. It appears the enormously complex climate treaty being negotiated that would cede vast amounts of authority to the UN over sectors of the US economy will not be ready in time for the meeting in Copenhagen early this December.

Helene Cooper of the New York Times reports:

At a hastily arranged breakfast on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting on Sunday morning, the leaders, including Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the prime minister of Denmark and the chairman of the climate conference, agreed that in order to salvage Copenhagen they would have to push a fully binding legal agreement down the road, possibly to a second summit meeting in Mexico City later on.

"There was an assessment by the leaders that it is unrealistic to expect a full internationally, legally binding agreement could be negotiated between now and Copenhagen, which starts in 22 days," said Michael Froman, the deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. "I don't think the negotiations have proceeded in such a way that any of the leaders thought it was likely that we were going to achieve a final agreement in Copenhagen, and yet thought that it was important that Copenhagen be an important step forward, including with operational impact."

With the clock running out and deep differences unresolved, it has, for several months, appeared increasingly unlikely that the climate change negotiations in Denmark would produce a comprehensive and binding new treaty on global warming, as its organizers had intended.

The agreement on Sunday codifies what negotiators had already accepted as all but inevitable: that representatives of the 192 nations in the talks would not resolve the outstanding issues in time. The gulf between rich and poor countries, and even among the wealthiest nations, was just too wide.

The next climate treaty will almost certainly give the UN power to regulate at least some elements of the world energy industry. This ceding of sovereignty will be pushed as the only hope to save the world from global warming.

Good thing it's proving more difficult to figure out how to do this than anyone thought. Pushing this "grand bargain" down the road means that there's still time to head it off.


We can all breathe a little easier. It appears the enormously complex climate treaty being negotiated that would cede vast amounts of authority to the UN over sectors of the US economy will not be ready in time for the meeting in Copenhagen early this December.

Helene Cooper of the New York Times reports:

At a hastily arranged breakfast on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting on Sunday morning, the leaders, including Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the prime minister of Denmark and the chairman of the climate conference, agreed that in order to salvage Copenhagen they would have to push a fully binding legal agreement down the road, possibly to a second summit meeting in Mexico City later on.

"There was an assessment by the leaders that it is unrealistic to expect a full internationally, legally binding agreement could be negotiated between now and Copenhagen, which starts in 22 days," said Michael Froman, the deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. "I don't think the negotiations have proceeded in such a way that any of the leaders thought it was likely that we were going to achieve a final agreement in Copenhagen, and yet thought that it was important that Copenhagen be an important step forward, including with operational impact."

With the clock running out and deep differences unresolved, it has, for several months, appeared increasingly unlikely that the climate change negotiations in Denmark would produce a comprehensive and binding new treaty on global warming, as its organizers had intended.

The agreement on Sunday codifies what negotiators had already accepted as all but inevitable: that representatives of the 192 nations in the talks would not resolve the outstanding issues in time. The gulf between rich and poor countries, and even among the wealthiest nations, was just too wide.

The next climate treaty will almost certainly give the UN power to regulate at least some elements of the world energy industry. This ceding of sovereignty will be pushed as the only hope to save the world from global warming.

Good thing it's proving more difficult to figure out how to do this than anyone thought. Pushing this "grand bargain" down the road means that there's still time to head it off.