Global warming agreement?

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It couldn’t be. It probably won’t be. But Obama says it might be.

The agreement between the U.S., China, India, South Africa and Brazil requires each country to list the actions they will take to cut global warming pollution by specific amounts, a senior Obama administration official said. The official described the deal on the condition of anonymity because specific details had not been announced.

Although it’s hard to tell India and China to halt their progress into the first world on the back of emissions when that’s exactly how we did it, there really is no hope of fighting against climate change without their help.
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2 Responses to “Global warming agreement?”

  1. Kyle S Says:

    The wealthy nations and large developing nations will reach an agreement that they find mutually acceptable, but contrary to what you’re implying here, that’s not really much of a surprise. It simply represents a compromise on behalf of the powerful, one that allows them to concretize “progress” into a self-congratulatory agreement, one that will garner political applause at home.

    The reality is that the agreement will come at the expense of most of the underdeveloped world, i.e the G-77 block, which has been fiercely fighting the US/Obama-led cabal on almost every major issue. As Naomi Klein states, Africa was “sacrificed.” By allowing temperature increases of 2 degrees Celcius, for instance, that will mean hundreds of millions more in these poor countries will be at risk of starvation and decreased access to clean water. What’s more, the US has pledged a mere $1.5 billion to help poor countries convert to alternative energies, which as any non-expert can see, is a meaningless and pathetic gesture.

    As the health care debate has shown, sometimes no deal is better than a bad deal, so the former is probably the best we can hope for at this point, as most human rights activists and progressives observing the conference seem to agree on at this point. (Desmond Tutu, for example, has said exactly as much.) Already, scores of African delegates have walked out of the conference and joined the thousands of protesters outside. Copenhagen has shown that the Global North has no commitment to addressing global warming in a meaningful way – i.e. one that will address the deleterious effects of even small increases in temperature on the ecosystems of poor countries. That so many representatives of the former Third World have banded together (strength in numbers) and are now close to rejecting this latest instance of Obama-manian false hope is encouraging. Unless something signifant changes (unlikely), Copenhagen should be dismissed and the discussions started again when the rich decide to attend in good faith.

  2. Gerald Cox Says:

    Kyle,
    Take your grievances up with China. If you’d like to see what a world run in part by China looks like, look no further than this past weekend.

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