Climate delegates finally finished two years of negotiations Saturday by “taking note” of the two-and-a-half page Copenhagen Accord hashed out Friday night. It reminded me of a marathoner who slow-walks the course, hobbles across the finish line seven hours late, and then declares victory. Yes, there was a semblance of a deal by Saturday, but it’s not what any of the parties said they were coming here to do, and no medals are being handed out.
The most important part of this deal is what’s not in it. Crucial unresolved questions will continue to dog climate negotiators into 2010 and beyond:
The Accord says there’s a “collective commitment” by developed countries to provide fast-start financing to developing countries “approaching” $30 billion. There’s also a “goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries.”
How these collective goals will go over with the national appropriators in the U.S., EU, and Japan who actually write the checks remains to be seen. Senate Republicans have already expressed opposition to the ... Read more