Copenhagen: Bolivia, Sudan, Venezuela and S.A. set to humiliate Obama
December 18, 2009 | Highlights from Politico.com
On Friday morning, Obama warned delegates that U.S. offers of funding for poor nations would remain on the table “if and only if” developing nations, including China, agreed to international monitoring of their greenhouse gas emissions. [...]
Back home, senators critical to getting a climate bill through Congress have stressed that developing nations must submit to international monitoring — particularly if they want the U.S. to pay hundreds of billions to help combat the destructive impact of climate change.
“The only way we’ll be successful in America is for countries like China and India to make an equivalent commitment,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who is crafting a bipartisan climate bill. “We’re not going to unilaterally disarm.”
While Obama emphasized the U.S. commitment to taking action on climate change, he did not set a deadline for specific Senate action on the climate bill. [...]
Overnight reports that world leaders had agreed to a tentative final climate change deal in Copenhagen were greatly exaggerated — and the outcome of the COP-15 conference was still very much up in the air when Air Force One touched down at 9:01 a.m. local time. [...]
After addressing the delegates, Obama met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao for close to an hour to discuss emissions goals, verification mechanisms and climate financing. The lack of agreement between China and the U.S. — the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters — has been a major stumbling block in the talks.
A White house official described the discussion as “constructive” and said that the two leaders asked their negotiators to get together one-on-one after the meeting. [...]
One key sticking point: a demand by industrialized nations that the document produced here be legally binding, the so-called “operational” agreement Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about yesterday.
… none of the several drafts circulating in Copenhagen represented even the bones of a final deal, with many key issues still in flux and time running out. Moreover, U.S. predictions that roadblocks could be thrown up by smaller countries seemed to be coming true, with last-minute objections voiced by Venezuela, Bolivia, Sudan and Saudi Arabia, according to people familiar with talks. [...]
An official with a developing nation told Reuters that rich nations were offering to cut their carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050, a proposal that had been rejected by developing nations. Developing nations have always insisted on the need for mid-term targets…