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How China and India Sabotaged United Nations Climate Summit

Nigeria
Daily Independent
15/08/2010


What a humiliation it was for Chancellor Merkel. Photos were taken later on that showed her wearing a pink silk blazer, but with her face looking gray and exhausted. She attempted to show the world a dignified façade, speaking of a "new world climate order" that had been reached in Copenhagen. But speaking privately after the meeting, it was clear that she was furious about its failure. She swore to herself that she would not risk the same kind of humiliation again. The chancellor was deeply disturbed by the Chinese and Indian show of power, as well as by Obama's maneuvering.

She must have felt very lonely in that room, with its mustard-colored walls. And the Chinese game wasn't over yet. "I have a procedural question," He Yafei said. "I kindly ask for a suspension of a few minutes for consultation. We need some time of consultation." What he meant was that he wanted to make a phone call to his prime minister.

"How long?" Merkel asked.

The chairman, Rasmussen, made the decision. "We meet again (at) half past four. Forty minutes."

Decisions Made Elsewhere

But the meeting did not reconvene. The key decisions were made elsewhere - without the Europeans. The Indians had reserved a room one floor down, where Prime Minister Singh met with his counterparts, Brazilian President Lula da Silva and South Africa President Jacob Zuma. Wen Jiabao was also there.

Shortly before 7 p.m., US President Obama burst into the cozy little meeting of rising economic powers.

At that meeting, everything that was important to the Europeans was removed from the draft agreement, particularly the concrete emissions reduction targets. Later on, the Europeans - like the other diplomats from all the other powerless countries, who had been left to wait in the plenary chamber - had no choice but to rubberstamp the meager result.

There is one politician who thought a great deal about his experiences in the Arne Jacobsen room in December 2009: Mexican Environment Minister Juan Elvira Quesada. His country will host the next major climate summit this November.

In Copenhagen, Quesada learned that the existing procedure is ineffective. "When more than 190 countries are supposed to reach a consensus, it's simply too complicated," he says.

At the November meeting in Cancun, he says, he would prefer not to even touch the document that was painstakingly drafted in that small group of world leaders. "If we were to simply move forward with the Copenhagen paper, it would be a disaster."

 

The news content in this section is responsibility of the information agencies and does not necessarily reflect the position of the Government of Mexico on this or other related topics.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.

    

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