Did China hijack Copenhagen?

Whilst talks on who’s to blame for climate change might be over for now, talks on who’s to blame for Copenhagen failing are just beginning.

“China is at the heart of Copenhagen’s failure,” says the editorial in Le Monde

China Sudan, Bolivia and other leftwing Latin American countries “have held  the world to ransom” says  the UK’s climate secretary, Ed Miliband.

China’s  maintained its ‘right to develop’ and the influence this will have on any climate change pacts they make. So what’s so wrong in preferring a “toothless declaration of intent” to a set of “binding” commitments?” asks Tim Collard

America blog comes out in China’s defense blaming poor organisation on the part of the summit organisers instead.

And all in all, China’s pretty pleased with its performance at Copenhagen.

Have a read of Time’s Lesson’s Learnt from Copenhagen; lesson 2 – China will be decisive and this is no big surprise.

So is China really to blame for failure at Copenhagen?

39 Responses to “Did China hijack Copenhagen?”

  1. 1 Roberto
    December 21, 2009 at 12:20

    RE “” editorial in Le Monde “”

    ——— Tabloid press is not often a source of credible information much less conclusions.

    China has become the 800lb gorilla that has until now been hidden away in the closet. They are poised to hijack and/or scupper considerably more than Copenhagen.

    Say hello to Globalization where other countries already control major policies that affect local jurisdictions everywhere.

    • 2 Tara Ballance, Montreal Canada
      December 21, 2009 at 17:12

      Le Monde? Tabloid press? I don’t think we reside in the same reality, Roberto!

      In my reality, Canada (deservedly) received the Fossil of the Year award. If China “hijacked” Copenhagen, it’s because people like Canada’s Stephen Harper let them get away with it.

      It’s a lot easier for Western politicians to blame the emerging countries than it is for them to take responsibility for their own shortcomings.

  2. 3 Syl
    December 21, 2009 at 12:30

    Why blame China only? India is an accomplice to this failure as well

  3. 4 Robert
    December 21, 2009 at 13:31

    I’m not sure of the specifics as yet, but I think most commentators are blaming America(not surprising) and China. And because of the resent revelations as to the flawed nature of the IPCC report, it is the best possible outcome. Get the research right, then a proper agreement can be made, if one is indeed necessary. The frantic, disjointed nature of the conference is a clear indication of the slowly crumbling consensus on global warming and the developed world not wanting to be holding the bag for trillions of dollars when and if it finally collapses.

    • 5 Gary Paudler
      December 21, 2009 at 15:54

      A handful of artless emails do not cast doubt on many thousands of peer-reviewed publications and the overwhelming consensus, backed by data and real-time observation. The research is in and incontrovertible. Trillions of dollars were committed to invading two countries that were a threat to nobody. More trillions were spent to “save the economy” which remains on the ropes while our trillions of dollars are being spent to further strip-mine our economic future. There is no credible debate! Human activity has changed the climate and our inaction will result in an inhospitable planet millions of years sooner than the deniers’ heavily-flogged natural cycle would.

  4. 6 Linda from Italy
    December 21, 2009 at 13:48

    From the twittering it looks like this one is going to air, pity as I think most of us are heartily sick of the blame game that Copenhagen became and that has reared its ugly head every time this topic has been on air, as well as in the press (not necessarily all tabloid Roberto, I think you’ve just mortally offended Le Monde!), including the debate aired on WS Saturday pm (Europe schedule).
    I’m sure this is what makes even those who believe in MMGW and do what we can to live reasonably green lives feel so weary and disillusioned. I do feel that some countries got a little power-crazed at Copenhagen, not surprising as they are rarely listened to, but the whole thing was so unconstructive, largely because realpolitik will always come before altruism and a broader vision, until our backs are really up against the wall, that’s just the nature of the human beast.

  5. 7 Ronald Almeida
    December 21, 2009 at 15:07

    Knowing the way the west has treated the rest of the world, even without knowing all the facts I am quite sure that it is the west that is responsible for all failures of negotiations. Because having exploited and taking advantage of the rest of the world for ages and fattened on it, There’s no way they are going to either ever accept or undersyrstand or be really fair in any thing they try to even make amends.

  6. 8 patti in cape coral
    December 21, 2009 at 15:26

    I feel this thing was mostly a waste of time, but not I’m not that disillusioned, as I wasn’t expecting much to begin with. As far as the failure being China’s fault, I guess maybe they had a good time flexing their muscles unproductively, but in the end, I don’t really think it’s any one country’s fault. I get the feeling it was mostly a lot of political posturing and a lot of blah, blah, blah to keep the people in their respective countries pacified that their leaders actually care. Wow, I hate how cynical I’m getting.

    • 9 Robert
      December 21, 2009 at 15:43

      “I get the feeling it was mostly a lot of political posturing and a lot of blah, blah, blah to keep the people in their respective countries pacified that their leaders actually care. Wow, I hate how cynical I’m getting.”

      It’s not cynicism if you know the truth. It’s a persons reaction to the truth that makes them a cynic. If you disengage, feeling you don’t matter in the debate, that might be cynical. If you continue to act on your convictions, though discouraged, that’s completely different.

  7. 10 Gary Paudler
    December 21, 2009 at 16:01

    Yes China hijacked the COP15, along with the US and the expected cast of hangers-on. I don’t remember hearing much from Canada or Australia, both of which have huge carbon footprints but just kept their heads down while Wen and Obama sold their people out in the name of “prosperity”. I especially blame the US government; Obama and the Congress, what a pathetic bunch of pandering sell-outs.

  8. 11 guykaks
    December 21, 2009 at 16:23

    I feel china in a particular was a big late down to COP15!And to make everything worse and blue was how President Obama took issue on all the debate

  9. 12 t
    December 21, 2009 at 16:31

    How did China hijack this? They’ve been willing to make large cuts in CO2 emissions. Has the States done the same thing? No.

    And second, of course the U.S. isn’t going to have a go at their creditor. Obama can’t afford to risk that.

  10. 13 nana kwarteng
    December 21, 2009 at 16:37

    China is getting richer and richer and would like to stay that way. Any deal that would have stemmed the tide of global warming would have as well stemmed growth in countries like China. They didn’t want that, unfortunately to the detriment of our planet. The rich will always want to stay rich.

  11. December 21, 2009 at 17:15

    Russia used to get the blame for most of the worlds evils.It now seems that we have a new bogeyman to browbeat,the mysterious Orientals.They must be very clever to have highjacked an entire conference;and not a dog barked.Does anyone seriously think that China and India will give up their new found wealth,in order to serve an exagerating and scaremogering IPCC.

  12. 15 Elias
    December 21, 2009 at 17:28

    Ofcourse China is pleased with its performance at Copenhagen and getting its own way on climate change, it knows full well it can do whatever it pleases as it has always done, for it has the power financially and militarily, it still occupies Tibet, and no one can force it to withdraw. China’s manufacture of goods with its cheap labour costs is distributed all over the world, it is the biggest creditor of The United States debt.

  13. 16 Tom K in Mpls
    December 21, 2009 at 17:47

    This whole thing was a political game to help certain politicians to get more power by selling fear on an issue with no good answers. The Chinese are the ones to to take the smartest approach from the start. It began by giving refuge to the ‘Pay to Pollute’/’Oil for Food’ guy, Maurice Strong. They have been working for years to make this happen, and it is unfolding perfectly for them. They deserve all they get from such foresight. I just hope the rest of the world wakes up soon.

    You need to read up on Maurice Strong: http://tinyurl.com/y9egcq4

  14. 17 Shannon in Ohio
    December 21, 2009 at 18:06

    The only thing the Copenhagen summit produced was a huge carbon footprint. Saddest of all is that ordinary people around the world are now bickering with one another on forums like this one. Each and every representative who attended should all take a good long look in the mirror when assigning blame.

  15. 18 Anthony
    December 21, 2009 at 18:15

    China’s future as a super power DEPENDS on a country of dirty energy. OF COURSE they want failure.

    *Conspiracy theory note: That would be a good way to take down China and other emerging countries… a threat to use “clean energy”. I’m not saying that’s what they are doing, but when people ask “why would anyone make up anything like this?”, that might be a reason.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  16. December 21, 2009 at 18:24

    Again I ask (in vain, I’m sure) “Who cares whose fault it is? Start making plans for refugees and infrastructure re-routing. I don’t care whose fault it is; it’s happening! Do more than finger-point!

  17. 20 TomBBC
    December 21, 2009 at 18:58

    This is the result of developing countries, lead by China, India, South Africa and Brazil, standing against the developed rich nations from shoveling down a By-rich nations, For-rich nations agreement by Denmark into their throat. If there weren’t unity in the developing countires, the rich-nation biased agreement would have forced onto the developing nations.

    Now that developing nations are standing up for their own interest, the rich nations, like UK, is starting trying to drive a wedge between the developing nations by hypocritically blaming China’s the fault in Copenhagen. This is very typical how Western government works; against their opposition and against other nations.

    • 21 Tom K in Mpls
      December 21, 2009 at 19:08

      “This is very typical how Western government works; against their opposition and against other nations.”

      Excuse me, TomBBC, would you please tell me which nation doesn’t do this? From what I see, they all are doing it, and China happens to be on top of it now due to some excellent planning.

  18. 22 Tom K in Mpls
    December 21, 2009 at 19:22

    Another thought. For this to ‘work’ would require a world government. Looking at the stumbling the EU is going through, it is clear a world government can not be forced and people are not ready. The basis of any future viable government will slowly evolve from something like the ISO.

    For now, it is up to the people to adapt as we grow and the world changes. Agreements could help, but in the end, the best technologies will succeed over the more polluting, inefficient ones.

  19. 23 t
    December 21, 2009 at 19:39

    Like it or not. But China, India, South Africa and other countries will fight to be heard re: global warming.

    The richer countries can use their vetos and other pressure tactics all they want. But that doesn’t eliminate human nature. To say we have an “empirical right” to our consumer lifestyle and you don’t doesn’t work anymore. And, considering that the Chinese are essentially funding the U.S. govt., who is Obama to tell them otherwise?

  20. 24 jeff
    December 21, 2009 at 19:41

    While we argue the Earth keeps dieing. Are we going to wait until China and India have the same per capita polution as the United States? It all reminds me of the argueing that goes on in the United States when it comes to the environment. Its all driven by money not science.

  21. 25 Ou
    December 21, 2009 at 21:44

    I am a Chinese, let me be frank. China gives no sxxx about the global warming, it’s just a trick employed by those western countries to trick us to slow down our economy. You can’t treat China like how you fool those Japs in 80’s to raise their currency exchange rate. So don’t blame us for not sacrificing our economy. Unlike Japs, we can easily destroy this world with our nukes and our cheap labors, if we produces more goods, your lazy workers will lose their job, if we produce less, your poor will starve to death by unable to afford daily groceries. So could you westerns please just stay there quietly and shut up your mouth?

  22. 27 t
    December 21, 2009 at 23:43

    Let’s talk about economic reality for a momemt.

    China’s economy continues to grow steadily. They continue to essentially finance the govt. in the States. Obama may be The Perfect President to many. But even he sees that he only has so much negotiating room re: climate change.

    It’s economic power first. And Obama will never do anything to jeopardize the”empirical” idea that the States are superior. Therefore, we’re entitled to maintain our way of life. Just because of who we are.

    Would YOU invest in a country like that?

  23. 28 Tan Boon Tee
    December 22, 2009 at 04:32

    The West did not get what they want in Copenhagen, so as usual, they look for a scapegoat. This time China is the convenient victim, since it is the largest polluter.

    But never play the blame game too often, for the backlash will return to haunt the player in the not so distant future.

    • December 22, 2009 at 15:54

      On the contrary, Tan Boon Tee, the West lead by the US got what it always wanted. The US never wanted to place a cap on the emission of carbon as that would affect its industry. Things were going fine until Obama arrived with his sneaky agenda. China had proposed a substantial cut in the carbon emission. This was not acceptable to the US. As soon as Obama arrived, he threw a smanner in the works and pushed China against the wall with his insulting demands in the name of transparency. British delegate being America’s poodles supported it. The rest is history. The US and Britain are now pointing a finger at China to show the Africans that CHina is the bad boy, not the West.

  24. 30 John Wayne
    December 22, 2009 at 06:39

    China has done what she should for Chinese and people around the world. Cooperation and mutual understanding are somethin that we all have to think about. No one can walk alone. No country can solve all the issues by itself. China a awaking lion has to cooperate with other countries to deal with the problems home and abroad.Fourty to fourty five percent cut of green house gas emission is a great step that China has taken. Acts speak louder. We will see it.

  25. 31 parth guragain,Nepal
    December 22, 2009 at 10:44

    it is just the out-brust of richer nations.europeans as we know r the pupets of the americans.now they have felt that they don’t have control over world issue that they used to command.what concreat proposals were put forward by the americans.it is just another game plan to show the chinese as vilians.not more than that.

  26. 32 scmehta
    December 22, 2009 at 14:19

    Most of the participating countries, in the Copenhagen Summit, might have felt safe by being vague or non -committal on the urgent and compelling issue of the climate change, but at the core of their hearts, everyone new that it was no use cheating ones own selves; sooner than later, they have to be honest and go full-throttle to tackle this grave problem. There’s no use shutting our eyes before the impending disaster; OUR EARTH BECKONS US FOR OUR SAKE.

  27. 33 A R Shams
    December 22, 2009 at 15:54

    Why it is China only thats being accused for making the Copenhagen summit a failure, rather there are many others including some developed countries of the world who have not been found responding and acting properly and positively in support of the UN’s ‘climate change’ mission on humanitarian causes.

  28. 34 ab
    December 23, 2009 at 08:21

    If people want a green world.
    then stop buying Chineese products.

    China frustrated the COP top,
    now people of the world decide themselves.

    No more “made by china” unless approved by a green label.
    We make china transparent! That should be done anyway.
    Digital democracy of the third millennium: how can you expect your
    government to take responsibility if you do not even bother about a green
    label ?

    You don’t have to wait tille the next top, start yourselves, start today, start small!

  29. 35 Tom Law
    December 23, 2009 at 15:36

    surprised you didn’t link to this article by Mark Lynas who was in the talks with Maldive delegation


    “How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room
    As recriminations fly post-Copenhagen, one writer offers a fly-on-the-wall account of how talks failed”

  30. 36 vijay pillai
    December 23, 2009 at 20:26

    It all boils down to how one see it. Take the case of a coin. There are not just two sides as anyone woud answer but three sides to a naked eye. But if one look deeper like a mathematician under a microscope there are multidimentions or for that matter a cosmologist might say 11 dimentions.

    a win for china is a loss for west and a win for africa since they get money to open more swiss bank account? I think west must not hand out money to africa but see that the money spent wisely by funding agences themselves if one were to avoid charges of genocide of africans by climate change in future after spending on themselves and not people. .

  31. 37 helen
    December 25, 2009 at 21:29

    By investing heavily in the green technologies which will at some not too distant piont in earth’s history become necesary as carbon fuels run out every country can lead by example instead of wasting a lot of energy blaming others. Taking this approach will have major benefits for the countries who start early and build up their green economies. Telling developing nations not to make the same mistakes already made by the developed worl will not work and will lead to resentment. Much of what is bought in the developed world is now made in the developing world. As customers we can exert chioce and insist that the products we use are sustainably and fairly produced. This would be a less expensive and ,I suspect a more productive approach than expecting politians to serve any interests other than their own. This is our world. We are ALL resposible. Each small act of awareness makes a difference. Start yours today

  32. 38 parth guragain,nepal
    December 26, 2009 at 05:42

    if anyone says that he was in board room during discussion doesn’t make his view apporoved by others.it is just another accusation to china.

  33. 39 Harry Webb
    December 27, 2009 at 12:34

    And so the whining begins!
    Why is that those generations which prospered as a consequence of Breton Woods can’t deal with someone else doing the same to them? What goes around comes around!

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