US IN BALI: “WE”RE GOING TO WORK…”
World delegates erupted in applause when representatives of the newly-elected Australian Labor government announced their nation would be signing on to the Kyoto Pact, leaving the US as the only major industrial nation outside the agreement.
Yvo de Boer, executive secretary, UNFCCC: ``The eyes of the world are upon you. There is a huge responsibility for Bali to deliver…The world now expects a quantum leap forward.''
Ironically, the most important decisions to be made at the Bali conference are likely to be on how to refine the cap-and-trade system the UNFCCC has struggled to invent in the 10 years since the Kyoto conference. Why is that ironic? Because the US Senate has been struggling to invent its own cap-and-trade system during the week of the Bali conference.
Next week the Senate is planning to reinvent the wheel.
US Wants to Negotiate New Climate Pact
Michael Casey, December 3, 2007 (AP via UK Guardian)
East of Java. (click to enlarge)
Arriving at the UNFCCC summit on climate change, the US delegation promised not to be a “roadblock” to international agreement. Why would anybody think that could happen?
Because US leaders only began acknowledging human-induced climate change this year?
Because the US is the only industrial nation in the world that has not endorsed the Kyoto Protocols?
The US refuses to join the UNFCCC mandates because developing countries like China and India also refuse and US leaders contend that joining would therefore put the US at an economic disadvantage -- although China and India also refused to attack Iraq but the US did it without them. And arguably the war has been a bigger economic disaster for the US than anything that could come out of signing on to Kyoto.
Possible explanation for unusually cooperative US attitude. (click to enlarge)
- Harlan L. Watson, U.S. climate negotiator: ``We're not here to be a roadblock…We're committed to a successful conclusion, and we're going to work very constructively to make that happen.''
- Artur Runge-Metzger, EU climate chief: ``There is no doubt that the U.S. has to play a key role in the post-2012 agreement…I think what the rest of the world would like to see is a credible effort, a credible commitment from the side of the U.S. to resolving this major challenge.''