Copenhagen Roundup Dec. 14, 2009

Update 2: The BBC says that the African nations have returned to the Copenhagen summit.

Update !: The Guardian adds to our first post, saying that the EU and Europe want Brazil, india and China to cap their emissions in 2020. The response is that such an agreement will lock them into poverty.


Negotations in Copenhagen sound a bit like trying to negotiate a health care policy in America.

While health care can’t end up with two separate proposals, Copenhagen just might. Negotiators speak increasingly of two separate deals — corrected 11:00 am 12-14-09 a) one aimed at deveoped countries and a second for poor countries; b) the BBC is reporting twin track approach whereby countries with existing targets under the Kyoto Protocol (all developed nations except the US) stay under that umbrella, with the US and major developing economies making their carbon pledges under a new protocol.

Unlike health care, there’s no minimum vote requirement. Countries can make whatever agreement they choose, as long as they have support for it in their governing bodies.

ABC News Australia says that Chinese negotiators don’t want to sign up to an agreement that allows for verification of climate commitments.

The European Union has now joined the United States in criticising a draft agreement by the UN that says that developing nations will only reduce their emissions if they receive financial help.

The 43-member developing countries want a legally binding agreement that building on the Kyoto protocol — which will NEVER pass the US Congress. The poor countries can make that demand until New Year’s Day. It will never pass the American Congress.

While China and US are the official bad guys in Copenhagen, Australia, too, has a growing taint on its reputation.

Sean Cadman, a forest and climate consultant for the Wilderness Society, is among a group of environmentalists outraged that Australia is trying to have land use removed from the new agreement, but wants to be allowed to use the emissions saved from good practices on the land to be offset against Australia’s fossil fuel emissions.

“Australia has been seriously under-reporting its emissions from that sector since they started,” Mr Cadman said. via ABC News Australia

I recall the story we published last week on Climategate: Australians Say Data Logs Used in Climategate are “Bloody Mess’.  Perhaps the data’s a mess for a reason. Anne