Belmont Club

A Deal in Copenhagen?

The BBC reports that a deal is close to emerging at the “climate change” talks in Copenhagen. The key news is that China has agreed to cut back on its pollution and the US is going to kick in some money. Only about $100 billion a year from initial reports.

A deal appears to be in sight for the final day of the UN climate change talks but there are fears it may not prevent a 3C (5.4F) temperature rise. … China signalled concessions on the monitoring of emission curbs while the US said it would commit money for developing countries. …

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her administration was prepared to help establish funding of $100bn a year for developing countries if a deal emerged that met US requirements.

The US wants to be able to verify Chinese compliance, but China was resisting any action that might infringe on its sovereignty. Meanwhile, President Obama boarded an airplane bound for the Danish capital, exuding confidence that a deal was in the cards. The NY Daily News reports:

“We’re not going there for the sake of something that’s called an agreement. We want something that works for both the international community but also that works for the United States. We think the elements are there to reach that agreement,” said spokesman Robert Gibbs.

“Coming back with an empty agreement would be far worse than coming back empty-handed,” he added.

Secretary of State Clinton tried to build momentum for an agreement yesterday.

She pledged the U.S. would help raise $100 billion a year to help poor nations in the global warming fight – but only if there is an agreement with teeth to enforce compliance.

The critical moment apparently came when Hillary Clinton agreed to kick in the money, according to the UK Mirror. Gordon Brown triumphantly announced, “today has been an important day.” No doubt.

Earlier, Hugo Chavez got a standing ovation when he pledged to make “capitalism obey us”. Andrew Bolt at the Herald Sun quoted this message from the Venezuelan dictator who hates America, but may love its money, some of which may now be coming his way.

President Chavez brought the house down. When he said the process in Copenhagen was “not democratic, it is not inclusive, but isn’t that the reality of our world, the world is really and imperial dictatorship…down with imperial dictatorships” he got a rousing round of applause.

When he said there was a “silent and terrible ghost in the room” and that ghost was called capitalism, the applause was deafening.

But then he wound up to his grand conclusion – 20 minutes after his 5 minute speaking time was supposed to have ended and after quoting everyone from Karl Marx to Jesus Christ – “our revolution seeks to help all people…socialism, the other ghost that is probably wandering around this room, that’s the way to save the planet, capitalism is the road to hell….let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us.” He won a standing ovation.

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… and they all lived happily ever after to an even catchier tune.

Update

Now it seems like the deal wasn’t there.  Jake Tapper at ABC News reports that a senior White House official is playing down expectations of a breakthrough, claiming the Chinese aren’t going to provide their promised ‘transparency’ in exchange for Hillary’s promised money. 

“We’ve done what we can here,” a senior White House official in Copenhagen, Denmark, tells ABC News. “The Chinese are dug in on transparency and are refusing to let people know they’re living up to their end of the agreement.”

After landing in Denmark early this morning, President Obama met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a bilateral at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen to press the case that China needs to allow for transparency. …

He noted that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to resolve a separate issue — the need of developing nations for money to help mitigate environmental rules and adapt to environmental chamges — by offering to help raise $100 billion dollars to address their climate change needs.

But the US offer, Clinton underlined, was only “in the context of a strong accord in which all major economies stand behind meaningful mitigation actions and provide full transparency as to their implementation.”

President Obama noted that as well, saying the offer was on the table “if — and only if — it is part of the broader accord” including transparency.

What? Has Hillary discovered you can’t buy a fake Rolex with a bouncing check? Why did Hillary need it? Why did Wen Jiabao think he could sell it? Neither national side appears to be quick enough to put one over the other. Only the true believers have managed to put one over themselves. China is dug in, probably hoping that Obama will blast them out with real money, not an offer to help raise a $100 billion, which is like the ghost of the apparition of currency, already debased but always ready for more. Maybe there won’t be “decorations of red on a green Christmas tree”, but someone will sure have a blue Christmas.


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