Revised 4:33 PM, PST
Politico says agreement of a sort has been reached at Cop15. Read their article. It sounds like everyone is going to go home to lick her/his wounds and figure out what to do next. Phrases like “a visibly angry Obama”, “no binding agreement”, “leaving before the last vote (Obama)” and “funds to poor countries remain on the table only as long as the Chinese submit to monitoring”, all lend credence to the idea that none of this is a done deal and a lot of posturing all around was needed. I suppose after eight years of Bushco, the refined US position was a pretty big change to take in for China and India.
POLITICO Breaking News:
The U.S. China, India and South Africa have reached a “meaningful” climate change deal that sets a cap on worldwide temperature increases, according to administration officials.
For more information…http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30794.html
Ban Ki-moon’s entreaty for nations to get it together and commit, have common sense and move forward, I think, reflects in all of us.
The bottom line was introduced by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It has found “that to stave off the worst effects of climate change, industrialized countries must slash emissions by 25 to 40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020, and that global emissions must be halved by 2050”.
Both China and India have been deeply and increasingly involved with trade negotiations in Africa for some time. If you think how our trade with Mexico has worked, you will understand the similarity; cheaper goods, fewer laws in place to protect environment and people, and cheaper labor. In particular, raw goods are wanted. As an example, China only has a little over 14% arable land, having lost one fifth to desertification, and a population of around 1.39 billion, as opposed to the United States with 18% arable land, and a population of a little under 308 million. At first glance, India seems in better shape with arable land of around 50%, however they live with yearly losses due to monsoons. Also, they have a population of just under 1.67 billion. One thing all three have in common is very large coal reserves, increasing the temptation to assign value to it’s use.
An interesting comparison of international environmental treaties signed and ratified by these three or any other countries can be found in the CIA World Fact Book. This is the list as of December 18th, 2009. The Fact Book is updated regularly and these may change as countries work toward further agreement.