Thursday 17 December 2009

Copenhagen a failure of negotation strategy

Looking on from afar I am not at all shocked at what looks like a failed meeting taking place in Copenhagen.

This was always going to be one of the most complex negotiations ever undertaken. Yet the whole two week debate did not even start with a real draft on the table. Instead everything appears to have been done from scratch.

Anytime you enter into a negotiation all sides have to know what is on the table. The rules have to be set out before the start. It is negotiation 101.

But none of that has happened in Copenhagen, it seems most countries are happy to make radical cuts in CO2 emissions; but there is so little agreement on how to do this and how to get the rich to pay the poor compensation.

A sad aspect appears to me that a marxist doctrine consumes the developing world, arguing that rich capitalists give them money in return for not developing. Rich countries have other ways of ensuring poor countries don't develop - just don't give them anything. Outside the conference anti-capitalists argue for an agreement that pushes humanity back to the stone age - unsurprisingly no one wants to agree to that either.

Perhaps most worrying appears to be China's game-playing. Leading the poor nations when it is no such thing, blocking progress on technical issues. China plays a hard game, no doubt hoping for 10 more years of sclerosis so it can modernise itself unhindered by ecological considerations.

On a positive, the outline drawn up by this meeting will be a good start for the next one which may only be a few months away.


Anonymous said...

I don't think you have got the point - the proposals by the UN etc have a covert agenda which is to bring down the US and the West.

James Higham said...

Anon is right but it's not possible to get anyone to see this.

Michael Fowke said...

'On a positive, the outline drawn up by this meeting will be a good start for the next one which may only be a few months away'

What do you mean by this? Are you suggesting climate change is man-made and that something has to be done about it?

Nick Drew said...

presumably Brown would consider a 'triumphant' Round 2 in the first few months of next year, as even better than a deal this week

Sebastian Weetabix said...

All the people who used to be red are now green. 'nuff said.

Steven_L said...

But the failure to reach a new agreement doesn't stop the old agreements and what is already happening.

The EU ETS scheme will continue as planned, the Climate Change Act 2008 is still law and still gives the government the power to make UK citizens trade carbon with each other (or the government - a carbon tax).

On the Kyoto side of things CDM projects are still a growth industry and British consumers are still getting ripped off with dodgy 'carbon neutral' claims and junk economics on how much money putting a windmill on your roof will save you.

In the US, Obama will continue to push for cap and trade.

CityUnslicker said...

Anon - i don't think it is that covert, hence no agreement.

MF - I do accept that man contributes to global warming by burning fosil fuels; what we do about it and hwow far we go to mitigate is is another thing.

SW - Agree too, anti-capitalism is warping the whole agenda. Does not make the problem go away, just much harder to solve.

SL - It does seem that the developing world prefers the status quo - prescisely because they have to do nothing whilst we are committed to big changes. As I said this was a big flaw in the start of the Copenhagen process.

Steven_L said...

They don't just have to 'do nothing'. Under the Clean Development Mechanism western consumers and western businesses are gifting China and India wind turbines and solar panels.

Maybe I'm a bit of a mercantilist stooge for thinking this is bonkers - but I do!

Sebastian Weetabix said...

CU, what problem? What with temperatures in stasis while CO2 rises, a quiet sun, apparent falsification & manipulation of the instrumental record.... blah blah blah etc it appears the wheels are falling off the man-made warming bandwagon. This whole thing is a ridiculous lash up to screw yet more money out of the west. And all over a harmless trace gas which is actually a plant fertiliser. Our society is in grip of a mass delusion. I hope Copenhagen fails miserably; perversely that would be a success.