Sunday, December 20, 2009

Copenhagen Was "a Triumph of Spin Over Substance" and Earned Canada Colossal Fossil Honours

You wouldn't know it by reading some of the Canadian newspaper accounts, but Copenhagen was a bust.

Canada was made a laughing stock, earning the title of Colossal Fossil for receiving the most fossil awards throughout the conference.

Harper, the big dummy above, showed up in Copenhagen with a dozen or more oil tycoons, that he called "advisers" so that the Canadian taxpayer would be bilked for the little vacation.

He never spoke and was not even invited to the meeting that Obama arranged for world leaders. I guess that says it all, that Canada is no longer thought of as a leader in anything, except ridicule.

But for simply signing his name, Harper is now the conquering hero. What a farce. This is the billboard that greeted people attending the conference.

Young Liberal Miranda Hussey attended the event and had this to day:

Well in the late hours of last night the leaders finally came to an "agreement" that basically says a whole lot of nothing. It's hard to come away from here thinking that the conference was anything other than a failure.

It was very striking to me when I spoke to people and they found out I was from Canada. In the past when I've traveled abroad I've never heard anything but good things when people find out I'm Canadian, here it was a mark of shame. All week I heard variations on the phrase, "why isn't Canada doing anything to fix climate change, I thought you guys cared?". Over and over I had to explain that most of us did care, but the problem was our Prime Minister didn't.

Obama also taking some heat. The difference is that he tried but the House has tied his hands. With Harper, he didn't try and didn't care, but has managed to tie the hands of the House.

The EU Sunday Times
December 20, 2009
Barack Obama’s climate deal unravels at last moment
Jonathan Leake, Environment Editor

The United Nations climate change conference ended in recrimination yesterday without reaching a clear deal on emissions targets.

After a stormy session in Copenhagen, in which a vociferous anti-American minority brought the talks close to collapse, most countries agreed simply to “take note” of a watered-down agreement brokered by President Barack Obama and supported by Britain.

This accord — which had been drawn up in discussions with China and 30 or so other countries on Friday — sets a target of limiting global warming to a maximum of 2C above pre-industrial times.

Above this temperature, scientists say, the world would start to experience dangerous changes, including floods, droughts and rising seas.

Critics pointed out, however, that the agreement failed to say how this limit on rising temperatures would be achieved. It pushed into the future decisions on core problems such as emissions cuts, and did not specify where a proposed $100 billion (£62 billion) in annual aid for developing nations would come from.

Yvo de Boer, the head of the UN climate change secretariat, called it “basically a letter of intent ... the ingredients of an architecture that can respond to the long-term challenge of climate change”.

Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International, dismissed it as “a triumph of spin over substance. It recognises the need to keep warming below 2C but does not commit to do so. It kicks back the big decisions on emissions cuts and fudges the issue of climate cash”.

The deal was denounced when put early yesterday to a plenary session of the conference after Obama and other heads of state had flown home.

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