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View Diary: Durban climate talks enter the week when we'll see if anything gets done. China budges (maybe) (69 comments)

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  •  Achievable Chinese Conditions (4+ / 0-)

    The Chinese conditions are very specific, though the wide reporting mostly didn't mention them, and even the WP implied there are more than what they itemized:

    The list included
    • ensuring a second commitment period of emissions targets under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol;
    • delivery of $30 billion in climate aid to poor countries by the end of 2012 and a process for raising $100 billion annually in climate aid by 2020;
    • the fulfillment of several programs aimed at helping developing nations cope with climate change and cut their own emissions;
    • an international framework for reporting on greenhouse gas emissions;
    • a scientific review to determine by 2015 whether deeper emissions cuts are needed;
    • and a pact that recognized nations have “common but differentiated responsibilities” under any global agreement.

    The real sticking point is the definition of "developing country". China hasn't committed to whether China is a developing country, and the idea of the US giving China $billions instead of China giving $billions to other countries will make that set of conditions impossible.

    However, though all of the conditions have wide weasel terms, we should start on implementing them in ways that make sense independent of the bargain. "Climate aid" that pays indisputably developing nations like most of Africa, South America and Asia (even excluding Brazil/Russia/India/China) to invest in sustainable development rather than destroying their forests and water is independently valuable. The US already has a basic but solid GreenHouse Gas emissions reporting system, the EPA Energy Star system for buildings (which produce about 40% of all US GHG emissions). The second round of emissions targets is inescapable, whatever the values and structure are, and the "common but differentiated responsibilities" pact is a truism, at least at that vague level.

    Which means those conditions are an invitation to the US, and to everyone else, to negotiate. The US now really looks like the big problem. But if the US leads in the definition of those terms, we can be the solution. The EU is the largest importer from China, doubled by #2 US. If the EU sets the terms, they'll favor the EU more than the US, and the EU is in a better position to pressure agreement.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 03:43:51 PM PST

    •  Great comment. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      The surest way to predict the future is to invent it. — Stephen Post. [Me at Twitter.]

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:28:24 PM PST

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      •  Follow the Leader (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks man. I don't DKos much anymore, especially outside the work I switched to: building energy management for energy/emissions reduction. But your leadership is easy to follow :). Welcome back.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:04:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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