Copenhagen – Day 4: China vs US

Day 4

Day 4

As was to be expected, the climate talks are boiling down to a China vs US punch-up. Yesterday, the US negotiator was blunt about the need for China to play ball, and today China has hit back, calling for more emissions cuts from the US (and more money, naturally):

China’s top climate envoy called on President Barack Obama to increase a U.S. offer to cut greenhouse gases, and said it would discuss a 2050 emissions goal only if rich nations offered more cash and carbon cuts.

Xie Zhenhua said developed nations must commit to cuts of “at least 40 percent” by 2020 from 1990 levels. He said Beijing was aiming for a legally binding treaty from the December 7-18 talks, although hosts Denmark have said that will be impossible.

A successful outcome from the summit largely depends on agreement between the United States and China, which together generate 40 percent of global carbon emissions.

But negotiations have been bogged down for months by rifts between developed and developing nations over who should cut emissions, by how much, and who should pay.

“I do hope that President Obama can bring a concrete contribution to Copenhagen,” Xie said in a rare interview.

Asked if he meant something more than Obama has proposed so far, a 3 percent cut from 1990 levels by 2020, Xie said: “Yes.”

“The whole world is watching the United States, and as long as they take on a good leadership role, then I think that we can make a large step forward in combating climate change.” (source)

40% by 2020 on 1990 levels equates to economic suicide, just sayin’. Meanwhile, in Faifax fantasy land, the Sydney Morning Herald prints the story of a 17-year-old living in the Solomon Islands, who pleads that her home is being flooded “by climate change”:

I am 17 years old. For my entire life, countries have been negotiating a climate agreement. My future is in front of me. In the year that I was born, amid an atmosphere of hope, the world formed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to solve the climate crisis.

This week I told negotiators at the main plenary session of the UN Climate Change Conference that time is running out and my generation needs them to work together to come up with the agreement that we deserve.

Sea-level rise and unprecedented storm surges caused by climate change are already affecting communities across the Pacific and are expected to get significantly worse if climate change is not immediately and adequately tackled.

Consequently, small island governments, like my own, are asking the global community to prevent global warming above 1.5 degrees. This means a global emission stabilisation target of below 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide equivalent in the atmosphere.

Maybe she hasn’t seen this graph, which shows sea levels rising at a constant rate, which they have done since the end of the last Ice Age, and which are actually slowing down:

Can't hide the decline

Can't hide the decline

Sarah Palin speaks the truth about the whole Copenhagen gab-fest:

SARAH Palin all but declared global warming a hoax yesterday when the former US vice-presidential candidate urged Barack Obama to boycott the Copenhagen climate change conference and stand up to the “radical environment movement”.

The former Alaska governor and possible 2012 presidential contender seized upon leaked emails from climate change scientists at the University of East Anglia. The scientists have been accused by sceptics of falsifying data to make the case that the phenomenon is real and man-made, something they deny.

The scandal has become a cause celebre among climate change deniers and sceptics. A group of Republican politicians has vowed to fly to Copenhagen next week to argue that the threat from global warming is overblown and too costly to act on.

Writing in The Washington Post, which was criticised from the Left for allowing her to argue her case [gee, that sounds like an attempt at censorship. Why would that be? The Left are always in favour of full and open debate, aren’t they? – Ed], Mrs Palin said: “The revelation of appalling actions by so-called climate change experts allows the American public to finally understand the concerns so many of us have articulated on this issue.” (source)

Well said.

And in other news, an wholly undeserving person receives a totally discredited prize somewhere and makes long speech. Yawn.

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