Back on December 19 I wrote here about how much of a failure that COP15 in Copenhagen was and how anyone with half a brain could have seen it coming. Interestingly enough a few days later Mark Lynas posted at the Guardian Online some really interesting behind the scenes facts about why COP15 failed.
It is because of his first hand account from being in the room when it all was going down that we can see just how the whole process was wrecked by China. While much of the press had a heyday trying to find ways to blame Obama for the Copenhagen failure Lynas has first hand accounts of what was really happening and from what he relates in his post Obama wasn’t the culprit.
That privilege belongs totally to China and started with one of the biggest diplomatic snubs of the conference:
What I saw was profoundly shocking. The Chinese premier, Wen Jinbao, did not deign to attend the meetings personally, instead sending a second-tier official in the country’s foreign ministry to sit opposite Obama himself. The diplomatic snub was obvious and brutal, as was the practical implication: several times during the session, the world’s most powerful heads of state were forced to wait around as the Chinese delegate went off to make telephone calls to his “superiors”.
With that setting the tone it was only downhill from there:
To those who would blame Obama and rich countries in general, know this: it was China’s representative who insisted that industrialised country targets, previously agreed as an 80% cut by 2050, be taken out of the deal. “Why can’t we even mention our own targets?” demanded a furious Angela Merkel. Australia’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd, was annoyed enough to bang his microphone. Brazil’s representative too pointed out the illogicality of China’s position. Why should rich countries not announce even this unilateral cut? The Chinese delegate said no, and I watched, aghast, as Merkel threw up her hands in despair and conceded the point. Now we know why – because China bet, correctly, that Obama would get the blame for the Copenhagen accord’s lack of ambition.
China knows it’s in the drivers seat and it will do whatever it wants in order to benefit themselves even if it means gutting a singular chance to slow down, because the changes coming won’t be stopped, the changes we are effecting on this world.
I really don’t care if you think climate change is a load of rubbish. I’ve lived long enough to have seen our weather patterns change and while it might only be my own personal belief we are in for a lot more change and none of it good. However governments like China with their vested self-interests don’t care.
People don’t matter. The world we are creating for our children doesn’t matter. Just as long as those in power can keep solidifying their power and the corporations who profit from all this can keep making their billions of dollars.
The failure of Copenhagen will haunt us but don’t make the mistake of blaming the wrong people.