Free Markets, Free People


China Sees No Agreement Forthcoming In Copenhagen

And that’s the good news:

With just two days remaining in historic and contentious climate talks here, China signaled overnight that it sees virtually no possibility that the nearly 200 nations gathered would find agreement by Friday.

A participant in the talks said that China would agree only to a brief political declaration that left unresolved virtually all the major issues.

The conference has deadlocked over emissions cuts by, and financing for, developing nations, including China, who say they will bear the brunt of a planetary problem they did little to create. Leaders had hoped to conclude an interim agreement on the major issues that would have “immediate operational effect.” The Chinese, it appears, are not willing to go that far at this meeting.

The New York Times goes on to wonder if this is just a bit of political brinksmanship on the eve of world leaders arriving. Obviously the NYT thinks this is about a negotiating position. One can only assume they make that assessment based on the supposed promise Obama said he extracted from the Chinese during his visit there.

If that’s the case, I’d say that both Obama and the NYT most likely have it wrong. China has made it clear for years that it exempts itself from hard emissions cuts because it considers itself a “developing country”. After years of preparing that position and presenting it to the world, it’s a little naive to believe a single visit by a new president would be likely to change it. China wants its cut of the loot. It’s not seeing that happen. It isn’t establishing a “negotiating position” in front of the arrival of world leaders, it is stating a fact – China foresees little if anything coming out of Copenhagen. While other countries and world leaders may feel intense pressure to make something happen, China doesn’t. If Copenhagen falls flat on its face, as it appears it will, nothing changes for China in terms of limiting emissions. It will simply patiently wait for the next international conference, where the pressure on industrialized nations will be even higher, to again make its demands.

Why am I making that assertion? Buried further on in the story is this paragraph:

China has been a natural godfather to many of the Group of 77 countries because its government has extensive investments in Africa and Latin America, often involving lucrative deals to bring oil and minerals home.

China is emerging as a leader among the 130 nations that make up the misnamed Group of 77. While Hugo Chavez may be the court jester, the real power of that group lays with China. And China sees a developing power vacuum with the diminished role of the US – partially due to the financial crisis and partially due to a young and inexperienced president. Again, they’re not staking out a negotiating position, they’re telling the rest of the powers the way the table is set. Demands will follow later.

Meanwhile Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in town flashing your cash as an incentive for “poorer” nations to cooperate and collect:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who arrived in Copenhagen overnight, announced on Thursday that the United States would participate in a $100 billion fund to help poor and vulnerable nations adapt to climate change and build more energy efficient economies. She cautioned, however, that American participation in the fund was contingent on reaching a firm agreement this week.

It was the first time the Obama administration had made a commitment to a medium-term financing effort and a clear effort to unblock a negotiation that has been stalled. She said the money would be a mix of public and private funds, including “alternative sources of finance,” which she did not specify.

Nor did she say what the American share of the fund would be, although typically in such multilateral financial efforts the United States contributes about 20 percent.

Of course 100 billion isn’t anywhere near what the “poorer” nations want. In fact, a group of Central America nations want somewhere in the neighborhood of 115 billion alone.

The circus reaches crescendo tomorrow as the remaining world leaders, including President Obama arrive. Given the way this is shaping up, it appears it may be another “Olympic event” for the president.

~McQ

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24 Responses to China Sees No Agreement Forthcoming In Copenhagen

  • This is amusing, after all of the hand-wringing by alarmists that Climategate was a carefully-planned breach intended to undermine the Copenhagen talks.  It should’ve been obvious that any actual climate science was going to be secondary to the power games and attempts at a money grab.  If this ends the way it appears it will, watch the lefty blogosphere explode with anger over ‘the way the CRU email scandal undermined the process.’  Heh…

  • This brings a new meaning to “New World Order” …

    “This is not a climate-change negotiation,” said Janos Pasztor, director of the U.N. secretary-general’s climate-change support team. “It’s about something much more fundamental. It’s about economic strength.” Countries, he added, “just have to slug it out.”

    Considering that China has now said there will be no deal, we are left wondering where this goes.

    • Frankly, this is now sounding more like a negotiation on setting a World Industrial Plan with climate change as a pretext.  More or less locking in industrial output and market share globally.  Given the the two largest up and coming industrial countries, China and India, are trying to opt out, it seems pointless if at least the underlying pretext has no validity.  It seems that the EU (and(I guess the US) thought they could sucker them in, but these folks are no fools.
      I keep trying to imagine what happens as 2nd and 3rd world countries realize that they have been dupped or mislead or just plain negotiated badly.  We are talking trade wars, the likes of which have not occurred in over a century, and that means quite possibly real wars as well.  Using a phony pretext, like AGW, will only make this possible outcome even more likely.

      • Exactly. 

        Plus the fundamental mechanism of global cap&trade is a worldwide flat price on emissions that hurts poor people with an expanding industrial base the most and benefits rich people with a contracting industrial base the most. 

        • Time will tell, but if there is an agreement .. was China & Russia just playing the part of “bad cop” while the US & EU played “good cop” in an attempt to get the CRU e-mails out there .. making it look like the “global consensus” was falling apart, so the “developing” nations would grab a hold on any money that may be offered, believing that if AGW is eventually “debunked” that they could keep the money anyway and walk away from the agreement.


  • We are down to the wire in Copenhagen.  If we fail to reach a strong deal, then other methods and approaches will be needed in the future.

    <a href=”http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/12/down-to-wire.html”>http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/12/down-to-wire.html</a>

  • Well, when those hundred whatever billions are gone in a years time, they’ll be back demanding more…

  • including China, who say they will bear the brunt of a planetary problem they did little to create.

    If there was an actual problem, they would be ok with being part of the solution…

  • Some nations are looking for the cash.  Others, including China, know it just a deal killer. 

    China does not want its industrial growth interfered with.  And it surely doesn’t want its entire economy inspected and regulated by outsiders. 

  • “If this ends the way it appears it will, watch the lefty blogosphere explode with anger over ‘the way the CRU email scandal undermined the process.’  Heh…”

    Obama will stand up and blame Bush for it.

  • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who arrived in Copenhagen overnight, announced on Thursday that the United States would participate in a $100 billion fund to help poor and vulnerable nations adapt to climate change and build more energy efficient economies.

    Lemme see if I have this right:

    — We are running a record-shattering deficit, with more to come if Imeme has his way

    — We’ve raised our debt ceiling twice this year because we’re totally broke

    — We’ve got 10% official unemployment, with millions more Americans either working short time or not even bothering to look for work any more

    — A majority of Americans doesn’t believe in AGW in the first place, and even those who do are less worried about polar bears than they are about having a job in the next three months

    Yet, we have plenty of cash to give to third-world countries to help them prepare (presumably) to be flooded out or burned up and / or develop “green” economies????

    I’m not a populist who cries, “We ought to spend that money at home!” Rather, I think that we ought not to spend that (borrowed) money at all.  However, I think a lot of Americans, especially those who have been out of work for months, scraping by on unemployment, and wonder what Imeme is doing about it, ARE going to wonder why we aren’t spending that money at home.

    I also suspect that the Red Chinese will start to wonder about this, too: “You borrow money from us… to give to other people… so you can take credit for being nice guys… and leave us holding the bag if (as it seems increasingly likely) you can’t pay us back.  Riiiiiight.  Weel you keess me?  Because I think that it’s only right for people to keess me WHEN THEY ARE DOING SEX TO ME!” 

    • The idea was to set up a regulatory system that requires climate mitigation take place, costing the developing world approximately $500 billion per year to “develop green economies”.  It was expected that the majority of that cost would be incurred by updating technology in industry.  The prime source for these tech updates was to be the developed post-industrial world.

      So when the post-industrial world went to Copenhagen to “save the planet” and demanded cuts be made to emissions – what they really meant is “we demand the world buy $500 billion in new tech from us”.  They initially offered $10 billion in subsidies to the developing world, over the 2 weeks it has risen to $100 billion and their expected profit likely fallen from $490 billion to $400 billion.  I reckon over the next couple of days they might go as high as $200 billion.

      There are some other reasons, like carbon markets would benefit from post-industrial world financial “expertise”.  And retirng land from production that is easier to do when you have a declining population.

      Meanwhile the G77 has been setting goals for the subsidy at between $500 billion and $1.1 trillion.

      Fun, fun, fun. 

      • So… China loans us money to give to third-world countries so they can buy stuff from us so we can have money to buy stuff from China?

        Weird.

    • “I also suspect that the Red Chinese will start to wonder about this, too: “You borrow money from us… to give to other people… so you can take credit for being nice guys… and leave us holding the bag if (as it seems increasingly likely) you can’t pay us back.”

      What do they have to complain about? The politicians are treating them  just like US citizens. 

  • And China sees a developing power vacuum with the diminished role of the US – partially due to the financial crisis and partially due to a young and inexperienced president.

    Partially???  Primarily I’d say.

    Financial market collapse not withstanding, if the American President had an American backbone, the Chicoms and the rest of the world would still fear American repercussions.   As it is, America’s opponents  know Obama to be the pinnacle of the useful idiots they have long nurtured; backed by the useful idiots that populate most of our media and academia today.

  • They say it will only cost the US about $100 billion

    The madness is now official:
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/climate-draft-deal-agreed-20091218-l1jo.html
    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Brazilian President Inacio Lula da Silva were all seen as the talks got underway shortly after 11pm in Copenhagen.
    Among industrialised countries, the participants were Norway, Russia, Spain, Britain, the US, Denmark, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden and Japan.
    Representing small island states were the Maldives and Grenada, with Sudan, Algeria, Ethiopia and Lesotho from Africa. Sudan is also the leader of the G77 group of 130 developed countries, Algeria heads the Africa Group, and Lesotho leads the bloc of Least Developed Countries.”

  • Any binding agreement made in Copenhagen will need to be ratified by the U.S. Senate.  On a list of the 12 most pressing issues facing America today, Global Warming is 12th.  Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member on Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, addressed the climate  conference yesterday, explaining that a cap & trade bill needs 60 votes.  Reid has a maximum of 35.  It will not pass.

    • Any treaty that won’t pass the Senate would likely be implemented anyway by some sort of EPA directive.
      Think “endangerment”.

  • correction, 25

  • When your attempt at recreating the Congress of Vienna with a third-rate cast of extras turns into a shambles, when the data with which you have tried to terrify the world is daily exposed as ever more phoney, when the blatant greed and self-interest of the participants has become obvious to all beholders, when those pesky polar bears just keep increasing and multiplying – what do you do?
    No contest: stop issuing three rainforests of press releases every day, change the heading to James Bond-style “Do not distribute” and “leak” a single copy, in the knowledge that human nature is programmed to interest itself in anything it imagines it is not supposed to see, whereas it would bin the same document unread if it were distributed openly.
    After that, get some unbiased, neutral observer, such as the executive director of Greenpeace, to say: “This is the single most important piece of paper in the world today.” Unfortunately, the response of all intelligent people will be to fall about laughing; but it was worth a try – everybody loves a tryer – and the climate alarmists are no longer in a position to pick and choose their tactics.

    … too funny

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