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Copenhagen: `Imperial' climate deal rejected by poor-country delegates

Hugo Chavez denounces Obama's ``imperial'' deal. Photo COP15.

December 18, 2009 -- Speaking on behalf of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela took the floor at the plenary of the COP15 climate talks in Copenhagen to denounce the final ``deal'' that was soon to emerge and be imposed on the majority poor-country delegates, and which would fall far short of their demands.

Chavez accused US President Barack Obama of behaving like an emperor “who comes in during the middle of the night … and cooks up a document that we will not accept, we will never accept”.

Chávez declared that “all countries are equal”. He would not accept that some countries had prepared a text for a climate deal and just “slipped [it] under the door” to be signed by the others. He accused them of “a real lack of transparency”.

“We can’t wait any longer, we are leaving … We are leaving, knowing that it wasn’t possible getting a deal,” he said. 

Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, also took the floor to express annoyance at the way a climate deal was being thrashed out by a small group of world leaders at the last minute. "If there is no agreement at this level, why not tell the people?", he said at the plenary meeting . He called for further consultations with the people.

"Who is responsible?", Morales he asked. Concluding that "the responsibility lies on the capitalist system -- we have to change the capitalist system".

Sham deal

The so-called "Copenhagen Accord" was pushed by the US and Australia, and sealed in meetings behind closed doors with the leaders of China, India, Brazil and South Africa. It was announced by Obama late on the evening of December 18, and presented as ``final'' even before the COP15 delegates had a chance to vote on it. It does not commit governments to interim 2020 carbon emissions-reduction targets, or to legally binding reductions and only expresses a general aim of limiting the global warming increase to 2 degrees Celcius -- well above the 1 degree C-1.5 degree C target most delegations were calling for.

Obama negotiates the fate of the world, December 18, 2009. Photo COP15.

Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, delegation head of the G77 group of developing countries, rejected the accordand vowed to fight it. "Obama, acting the way he did, definitely established that there's no difference between him and the Bush tradition", he told Time magazine.

Nnimmo Bassey, prominent Nigerian environmentalist and chair of Friends of the Earth International, described Copenhagen as "an abject failure". "Justice has not been done. By delaying action, rich countries have condemned millions of the world’s poorest people to hunger, suffering and loss of life as climate chang accelerates. The blame for this disastrous outcome is squarely on the developed nations. We are disgusted by the failure of rich countries to commit to the emissions reductions they know are needed, especially the US, which is the world's largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases.

"In contrast African nations, China and others in the developing world deserve praise for their progressive positions and constructive approach. Major developing countries cannot be blamed for the failure of rich industrialised countries.

“Instead of committing to deep cuts in emissions and putting new, public money on the table to help solve the climate crisis, rich countries have bullied developing nations to accept far less. Those most responsible for putting the planet in this mess have not shown the guts required to fix it and have instead acted to protect short-term political interests."

`Real leadership' on the streets

“The only real leadership at the conference has come from the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who’ve come together to demand strong action to prevent climate catastrophe. Their voices are loud and growing – and Friends of the Earth International will continue to be part of the fight for climate justice.”

Greenpeace criticised the accord for not having “targets for carbon cuts and no agreement on a legally binding treaty”. Oxfam International called the deal “a triumph of spin over substance. It recognises the need to keep warming below two degrees but does not commit to do so. It kicks back the decisions on emissions cuts and fudges the issue of climate cash.”

The ``accord'' confirms the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Developed countries commit collectively to providing US$30 billion in new, additional funding for developing countries for the 2010-2012 period. It also says developed countries support “a goal of mobilising jointly 100 billion dollars a year” by 2020 from a variety of sources.

Erich Pica, president of the Friends of the Earth (USA), said that the "climate negotiations in Copenhagen have yielded a sham agreement with no real requirements for any countries. This is not a strong deal or a just one -- it isn't even a real one. It's just repackaging old positions and pretending they're new. The actions it suggests for the rich countries that caused the climate crisis are extraordinarily inadequate. This is a disastrous outcome for people around the world who face increasingly dire impacts from a destabilising climate...

"With the future of all humans on this planet at stake, rich countries must muster far more political will than they exhibited here. If they do not, small island states will become submerged, people in vulnerable communities across the globe will be afflicted with hunger and disease, and wars over access to food and water will rage.

"The devastation will extend to those of us who live in wealthy countries'', said Pica. "The failure to produce anything meaningful in Copenhagen must serve as a wake up call to all who care about the future. It is a call to action. Corporate polluters and other special interests have such overwhelming influence that rich country governments are willing to agree only to fig leaf solutions. This is unacceptable, and it must change.

"Fortunately, while the cost of solving the climate crisis rises each day we fail to act, the crisis remains one that can largely be averted. It is up to the citizens of the world -- especially citizens of the United States, which has so impeded progress -- to mobilise and ensure that true solutions carry the day. I firmly believe that together, we can still achieve a politics in which climate justice prevails."


Rich countries blackmailing poor to sign onto flawed, unjust `accord'

December 19, 2009 -- Friends of the Earth International -- On the day that the UN Climate talks officially closed, Friends of the Earth International warned against the false conclusion that the UN Climate Conference has adopted the ``Copenhagen Accord''.

The Copenhagen Accord announced on December 18 by US President Barack Obama was not adopted by delegates to the United Nations climate conference here. Instead, delegates merely ``noted'' the agreement's existence, giving it no force whatsoever.

Today rich countries led by the United States are pressuring poorer nations to ditch the UN process and sign onto the Copenhagen Accord. They are threatening poor nations that refuse to sign on with the loss of their share of the US$100 billion that rich countries have pledged to compensate for climate impacts the rich countries themselves have caused.

UN officials are struggling to figure out what the accord even means and how it's related to the UN process, but what's is clear is that it was not approved by the 192 countries that are members of the UNFCCC. By signing onto the accord, poor countries risk displacing the legitimate negotiation process taking place under the auspices of the UN.

The US is so desperate to claim a Copenhagen success that it is now attempting to destroy the existing climate process and sideline 20 years of real multilateral negotiation.

Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth International chairperson, said:

First the US came to Copenhagen with nothing new to offer, and now it's trying to package the weak, flawed, unjust 'Copenhagen Accord' as a replacement for the UN process -- and armtwist poor countries into signing on.

President Bush ignored the UN process, now President Obama  risks to torpedo it.

Countries seeking a just and effective solution to climate change should not sign this illegitimate and distracting ``Copenhagen Accord''. They should instead ensure a rapid return to the formal UN process to achieve a fair, strong and legally binding agreement as soon as possible within the next year.

Developing countries have shown real leadership in Copenhagen and must not give up the UNFCCC for the ``Copenhagen Accord''.


Developing Nations must defend themselves from climate genocide

The following letter has been sent to Island Nation leaders, Developing Nation leaders and global media in the interests of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, Humanity and the Biosphere.

Yours sincerely, Dr Gideon Polya (Convenor,

* * *

Developing Nations must urgently defend themselves from Australia-, US- and First World-imposed climate genocide.

Top climate scientists, including the UK Royal Society Coral Working Party, say that we must urgently return the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration from a current, dangerous 390 parts per million (ppm) to a safe and sustainable level of 300-350 ppm for a safe planet for all people and all species. This means doing everything we can immediately to avoid more than a 1.5 degree C temperature rise – rapid implementation of renewable energy, geothermal energy, re-afforestation and return of carbon to the soil as biochar coupled with progressive cessation of fossil fuel burning, deforestation, methanogenic livestock production and population growth. [1, 2].

Fundamental to any international agreement on national rights to pollute our common atmosphere and oceans should be the belief that “all men are created equal”. However reality is otherwise: “annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution” in units of “tonnes CO2-equivalent per person per year” (2005-2008 data) is 0.9 (Bangladesh), 0.9 (Pakistan), 2.2 (India), less than 3 (many African and Island countries), 3.2 (the Developing World), 5.5 (China), 6.7 (the World), 11 (Europe), 16 (the Developed World), 27 (the US) and 30 (Australia; or 54 if Australia’s huge Exported CO2 pollution is included). [3, 4].

The fairest plan at Copenhagen has been the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) proposal for "55% of 1990 levels by 2020 for Developed Countries" which means that Developed Countries’ per capita would go from 16 to 6.5 tonnes CO2-e per person per year while Developing Countries would "in aggregate aim to achieve significant deviations from baselines by 2020” i.e. less than a predicted 3.8 for the Developing World by 2020. [5].

The UN Draft Proposal is for a less just Developed 2020 per capita of 7.1- 8.9 from the present 16 but the US has proposed a 2020 per capita for itself of 12.4 from its current 27. [5].

The most unjust plan at Copenhagen comes from world's worst per capita GHG polluter, Australia, which has made a highly conditional best offer of "75% of 2000 value by 2020" which would mean that Australia's domestic per capita would go from 30 to 17.2 in 2020 and its domestic plus exported per capita would INCREASE 15% from 54 to 62 tonnes CO2-e per person per year in 2020. [5].

Both Dr James Lovelock FRS (Gaia hypothesis) and Professor Kevin Anderson (Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester, UK) have recently estimated that fewer than 1 billion people will survive this century due to unaddressed, man-made global warming – these estimates translating to a climate genocide involving deaths of 10 billion people this century, this including 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims, 2 billion Indians, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis. [6].

Just as it helped the US sabotage the Kyoto (1997), Bali (2007) and Poznan (2008) Climate Conferences, polluter- and US-beholden Australia, the world’s worst per capita GHG polluter, has done everything it can to sabotage the Copenhagen Conference by participating in a secret US-led cabal; supporting a derisory global $10 billion adaptation package (enough for one ice cream to everyone in the Developing World each year); falsification of its GHG pollution accounts; commitment to dangerous global warming of 2 degrees C; commitment to continuing massive fossil fuel burning (it is the world’s biggest coal exporter and a major LNG exporter); permanent commitment to over 50% of its current huge domestic GHG pollution by permanent exclusion of agriculture from consideration; bullying Island Nations; resolute opposition to any approach to just national targets that must be the core of any agreement; and, as publicly exposed by the African and Chinese negotiators, by simple 2-faced lying.

First World-imposed climate racism, climate injustice, climate terrorism and climate genocide are acute realities already impacting on the Developing World and in particular on Island Nations such as Tuvalu and mega-delta nations such as Bangladesh. [7].

Island Nations, African Nations and indeed all Developing Nations must respond immediately to the Australia- and US-engineered failure of the crucial Copenhagen Summit by immediately targeting Australia and, in general, climate criminal, climate racist, climate terrorist and climate genocidal people, politicians, corporations and countries, with Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs, Reparations Demands through the International Court of Justice, Climate Genocide prosecutions before the International Criminal Court and exclusion of climate criminal nations from international bodies such as the Commonwealth and the South Pacific Forum – failure to act will make Developing Nations complicit in their own destruction. [8].

Yours sincerely,

Dr Gideon Polya, Convenor

[1]. “ – return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm”: .

[2]. Yarra Valley Climate Action Group “Climate Emergency facts & required actions”: .

[3]. “List of countries by greenhouse gas emissions per capita”: .

[4]. “Climate justice & climate injustice: Australia wants a 2020 per capita GHG pollution 15 times greater than Developing World’s”: .

[5]. “Copenhagen Greenhouse Gas reduction proposals - quantitative comparisons”: .

[6]. “Climate racism, climate injustice & climate genocide – Australia, US and EU sabotage Copenhagen COP15”: .

[7]. “Climate Disruption, Climate Emergency, Climate Genocide & Penultimate Bengali Holocaust through Sea Level Rise”: .

[8]. Formal complaint to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court re Australian Government involvement in Aboriginal Genocide, Iraqi Genocide, Afghan Genocide and Climate Genocide: .

Indonesian Civil Society: Stop Climate Trading!

*Indonesian Civil Society: Stop Climate Trading, Go for Real Climate Solutions!*

Copenhagen, December 17, 2009

Entering the second week of COP15, Danish police have been demonstrating iron-fist measures to expression of dissent. Until today, arrest and harassment to peaceful civil protesters continue. Heavy handed act would have not been possible without endorsement by people and institutions in power, including those who watch in silent.

Showing off power has been the feature of climate negotiations, particularly during Copenhagen COP15. From physical presence of rich countries delegates ? at the Bella conference Centre the US and EU countries delegates occupy office space equal to the space shared by the rest of the world delegates ? to their delaying tactic in making commitment to the next phase of Kyoto Protocol and attempt to kill it, their message is clear: the rich rules, hence the domination.

People's expectations were high to climate negotiations in COP 15 as we have planetary deadline to act on climate change. We would have seen a major turning point coming out of the talk. However, instead of common climate agreement for the good of us all, we have to witness arm-twisting by the dominant countries demanding political and economic ransom.

In the last days of COP15 we are entering critical moment when the head of States flocking in to seal the deal. We, the Indonesian Civil Society Forum on Climate Justice, urge the Government of Indonesia (GoI) not to be trapped in false deal. We have been following GoI moves to embrace offsetting wholeheartedly as a solution approach in which we beg to differ. We believe shifting one's problems away to other's backyard will not get us out of the problem. We are also aware of market-based initiatives such as trading carbon stock from our forest as in REDD and similar scheme has been cooked up in marine sector. Apart from the 'official' reason of protecting the resources, those have been put forward under pretext of gaining funding to finance Indonesia's natural resources management reform. We believe this approach will not be effective with the absence of political will to eradicate rampant corruption in all sector. Furthermore, we believe it is wrong to rely on carbon trading for fundraising, especially when the market is volatile. We do not have time and an alternative planet to risk with such an experiment.

There is also concern in the corridor talk between delegates that Indonesia may play the role of the 'Yes Man' to rich countries and split further the position of countries asking for real climate solutions. The truth is not far from the alarmist thought as the Indonesian government has been persistent with its profit seeking approach in climate deal.

We, therefore, urge the President of Indonesia, DR Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to:

* stop selling and pawning out the country through false solutions

* stand behind those who seek for just and fair climate agreements and refuse to be used as the puppet of rich countries

Mr President, there are millions of Indonesian waiting for your genuine commitment to rescue our already-marginalised livelihood so we can adapt to the impact of climate change with dignity.

* The Indonesian Civil Society Forum on Climate Justice is a coalition of 30 Civil Society Organisations fighting for climate justice. It was born in the run-up to Bali COP 13 2007.

US Big Green groups scab on poor

"American NGOs Supportive

"American environmental leaders were more supportive, asserting the
agreement was a step that strengthened American and global action to
limit carbon emissions and accelerate the vast economic transition built
on a new foundation of clean energy development.

“The world’s nations have come together and concluded a historic—if
incomplete—agreement to begin tackling global warming,” said Carl Pope,
executive director of the Sierra Club. “Tonight’s announcement is but a
first step and much work remains to be done in the days and months ahead
in order to seal a final international climate deal that is fair,
binding, and ambitious. It is imperative that negotiations resume as
soon as possible.”

“Today’s agreement takes the first important steps toward true
transparency and accountability in an international climate agreement,”
said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund. “The
sooner the U.S. speaks through Senate legislation, the sooner we can set
the terms of engagement for talks to come.”

Bolivia calls Copenhagen climate accord "unacceptable"

Copenhagen, 18 December 2009

As President Obama announced that major states had reached a deal in Copenhagen, Bolivia's ambassador to the UN, Pablo Solon angrily denounced the released text of the agreement:

"This is completely unacceptable. How can it be that 25 to 30 nations cook up an agreement that excludes the majority of more than 190 nations. We have been negotiating for months on one of the gravest crises of our age, and yet our voice counts for nothing? If this is how world agreements will now be agreed, then it makes a nonsense of the UN and multilateralism."

Pablo Solon also condemned the substance of the agreement:

"The agreement talks of setting targets that limit warming to 2 degrees. The leaders of the rich countries should come to Bolivia to see what global warming is already doing to our country. We have droughts, disappearing glaciers and water shortages. Imagine this scaled up three times. We cannot accept an agreement that condemns half of humanity"

How the emperor made his deal behind the world's back

President Barack Obama reached an agreement to tackle climate change at
the United Nations climate summit Friday. Afterward, a senior
administration official described the chaotic series of meetings and
miscues in the runup to the accord, for reporters traveling aboard Air
Force One on the president’s return trip to Washington. This is a
transcript of those remarks.


Aboard Air Force One

En route Andrews Air Force Base

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So I just want to make sure everybody is
cool with the rules here. We’re going to have probably a couple of these
on this flight. What I want to do though, on background as a senior
administration official, I want to go through a series of events that
led up to the President going into what we had set up as a bilateral
meeting with Premier Wen. So I just want to get — I want everyone to be
clear on this set of events. So let me go through this timeline and then
we can go through questions. And bear with me because I sometimes can’t
even read my own writing.

At the first bilateral meeting with Premier Wen, the President, as we
have done over the past several days, was pushing quite hard on
transparency language. And we had given some transparency language to
them and negotiators on our side had gone to work with their side on the
notion of transparency.

Q The language was before the meeting, though? Was given to them before
the meeting?


Q When you said, “we had given language to them,” you meant before their

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: This was during the bilat. So this was
at the end of the bilat and the President says to Wen that he thinks our
negotiators should get together, spend about an hour seeing if we can
make some progress — because in all honesty, rhetorically, we were
hearing what we wanted to hear about steps that they were willing to
take on transparency, but wanted to make sure that we would have
something to agree on that wasn’t just them agreeing to agree.

So the President at that point — you guys will have some times in your
email to go through — but remember there comes a point in which you
should have gotten from Kevin Lewis, via an update from me, that says
the President has gone to the multilateral meeting and representing the
Chinese was their climate change ambassador in the ministry of foreign
affairs, who was in this meeting — to put it, I guess, accurately — as
to speak for the entire Chinese government.

It’s at this point that the President, before our Medvedev bilateral,
the President said to staff, I don’t want to mess around with this
anymore, I want to just talk with Premier Wen. So we were trying to do
that before the Medvedev bilat. Our advance team called their advance
team to try to set this meeting up, and in all honesty make one more
chance, make one more run at getting something done. The Chinese say
they need to call our advance guys back. So it’s clear that it’s going
to take some time to get this Wen meeting done, so we’re going to go
ahead and do the Medvedev bilat earlier than was on the schedule.

And as the President waited for Medvedev to be — to move the delegation
down into the room, the President also says to staff, we should meet in
a group of three with Lula of Brazil, Singh of India, and Zuma of South
Africa. All right. So, let’s get a meeting with Wen, let’s get a meeting
with these three guys.

We get a call back from advance that Wen is at the hotel and the Chinese
staff are at the airport.

Q (Inaudible.)

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I don’t know what level of staff, but
some of their staff — a decent chunk of their staff was at the airport.

Q So they had all left the Bella Center?


Q Including Wen — and that was news to you guys –


Q Oh, he was at the hotel.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The Indians — when we called also about
Zuma, Lula and Singh, we were told Singh was at the airport.

Q Do you consider that a walk-out?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I think they thought the meeting
was done. I think they thought there wasn’t anything left to stay for,
in all honesty.

Q That was around 4:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m.?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I’d have to — my sense is probably
closer to 4:00 p.m. So we basically — we set times for when we want to
have these meetings. We called the advance for each of these countries.
We want to do — we had given the Chinese to a certain point before we
were going to lock in first the other meetings. So we hadn’t heard back
from the Chinese so we lock in first the notion at 5:30 p.m. we’d like
to meet with the three, Zuma, Lula and Singh. And then at 6:15 p.m. —
the Chinese called back — we didn’t know if they were going to call
back, at 6:15 p.m. we lock in that we’re going to do a bilateral meeting
with Premier Wen.

Zuma originally accepted this 5:30 p.m. multilateral meeting. Brazil
tells us that they don’t know if they can come because they want the
Indians to come. The Indians, as I just said, were at the airport. Zuma
is under the impression that everybody is coming. Advance basically
tells the South Africans that at this point the Brazilians are unclear
about meeting without the Indians, the Indians are at the airport, and
Zuma at that point says, well, if they’re not coming I can’t do this.

The Chinese then call and say, can we move our 6:15 p.m. bilateral back
to 7:00 p.m. And we said — we put them on hold, talked a little bit, the
President walked up, the President said, move it to 7:00 p.m., I’m going
back to the multilateral. The President goes to the multilateral and we
had been getting emails at this time from those in the European
delegation about — because the President had left that first
multilateral — or the previous multilateral after the deputy foreign
minister for climate change had been there representing the Chinese and
saying, I’m going to go find and talk to Wen. All right, we’re going to
do this Wen thing. So the Europeans are wondering sort of where we were
with Premier Wen.

He spent about 45 minutes in the bilateral meeting –


SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I’m sorry, in the multilateral meeting;
thank you. That’s with the Europeans, that’s with Ethiopians. At the very –

Q (Inaudible.)

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So this would have been, quite frankly,
leading up to about 7:00 p.m.


SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, after Medvedev. We said — a couple
of us start to walk up to the room where the multilat is because we had
sent advance to look at the room, the room where we were going to have
the China bilat and realize the room is occupied by what we think are
the Chinese and we can’t get into the room to look at it.

So they come back and it sort of got our antennae up a little bit. So by
the time several of us, including Denis McDonough and I, got into the
multilateral room we’ve now figured out why we can’t get into that room:
because that room has Wen, Lula, Singh and Zuma. They’re all having a

Q So they weren’t at the airport?


Q And you guys didn’t know this.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We did not know this. We are getting — I
can show you some of the emails that we’re getting saying — because
truthfully I asked one of the advance guys, did you see anybody else in
the hallway? And he said, just clearly Chinese.

Q So Wen –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Wen, Lula, Singh and Zuma. But we’re
starting to get emails one by one, hey Zuma is in this room, too; hey,
Singh is in this room, too. So all of a sudden that’s when we start to
make sure we’re walking up to the multilateral room. The President is
beginning to leave. He spends time right before he leaves — this would
have been right before 7:00 p.m., the President is talking with
Chancellor Merkel and Gordon Brown about going for this bilateral
meeting with Premier Wen, that they had rescheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Again, we thought we were still on for a bilateral meeting. That’s when
our delegation walked over. We held and I think Ben moved the pool
because we had heard at this point previous to this that the pool for
the Chinese had been assembled outside of this room. And we had the
President wait for a minute while Ben moved the pool so that — we had
heard that they were going to pre-set without any of us. So we had the
President hold.

That’s I think when many of you start to pick up this story. This is
when I think you, in the pool report, said, you know –

Q When he said, are you ready, are you ready?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Are you ready for me? We were going to –

Q You were going to crash their meeting.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, no, no, no, no. We weren’t
crashing a meeting; we were going for our bilateral meeting.

Q And you found those other people there.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We found the other people there. We
found this out as we were going –

Q So as you walked in you realized it –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We found this out — remember, we found
this out as Denis and I are walking up to the room to go with the
President, because the delegations were the same for the Wen bilat,
Denis, Ben and I were both in the delegation for the original Wen bilat.
That’s when the President walks in — Helene has in the pool report, you
know, “Are you ready for me?”

Q Is it correct to say that when he walked in he didn’t know?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I don’t — I think it’s safe to say they
did not intend to have that meeting with four of them; they intended to
have that meeting with one. The President walks in — and by the time I
finally push through I hear the President say — there aren’t any seats,
right, I mean, I think if you’ve seen some of the pictures, there were
basically no chairs. And the President says, “No, no, don’t worry, I’m
going to go sit by my friend Lula,” and says, “Hey, Lula.” Walks over,
moves a chair, sits down next to Lula. The Secretary of State sits down
next to him.

And that leaves us at a series of events that Doug and others covered
where there’s pushing and that would have been at 7:00 p.m. local time,
so 1:00 p.m. sort of East Coast Time.

Q When the President –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me just — I want to do a couple
things now. They’re still meeting back in Copenhagen. We’re going to get
some regular updates, and as we get some updates, our hope and goal is
to provide you then a little bit more context. Then we’ll start then at
7:00 p.m., or 1:00 p.m Eastern, because there’s several more twists in
this road before we get to I think my notes have it at about — that
whole meeting concludes about 8:15 p.m.-8:20 p.m. But there’s a whole
lot of fun in between.


Q Can I clarify two just sort of factual points. You said at one point
that the President left the multilateral because of the level of Chinese
representation — is that right, that he — basically he said, I’m out?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me say this — I think the President
realized, based on a meeting that — meetings that he’d had in Beijing
with Premier Wen and the bilateral, he felt like he had a very good
relationship with Premier Wen, and quite frankly, if the Chinese were
going to make — if the Chinese were going to move on transparency, it
wasn’t going to be through the deputy mining minister — right?

Q Is that what the guy is, deputy mining minister?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, I was just — sort of a joke. But,
no, he’s the — I think we sent it around — he’s the –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Climate change ambassador.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: — climate change rep for the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. But in all honesty, it’s a position lower than the
person that was in the original multilateral when we got there –

Q (Inaudible.)

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Right, yes. So I think at that point,
the President — I think the President understands that he wants to make
one more run at this, but he wants to make one more run at this with
Premier Wen.

Q And later in the — when he was going up to the meeting that turned
into the multilateral, is it your thought that they meant to have a
meeting with each other to exclude the United States, or get their ducks
in a row, or what was going on?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I will assume that their meeting was to
get their ducks in a row. Because at this point, though our — certainly
our impression was that a number of these people were either at or on
the way to the airport. We had confirmed with the Chinese before he went
to the multilateral the second to last time — the last time being right
before the press conference — but the second to last time, that we had
just then agreed to move the bilateral meeting that we wanted to set up
with the Chinese to 7:00 p.m. So we believed, up until about two minutes
before Denis and I walked into the multilateral, before moving to the
7:00 p.m. meeting, that we were having a bilateral meeting.

Q But it’s not — it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise because those
four countries have been working as a negotiating team on this issue, right?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Certainly no surprise. Again, we were
trying to put together a similar meeting, but found the logistics to be
hard to do. And I think I know now why the logistics proved somewhat
challenging. They were busy; they were meeting.

Q Was it logistics, or were they trying to have their own separate
meeting without the U.S. involved?

Q Were they trying to scuffle the deal and get together and –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I don’t know that they were trying — I
don’t know where they were on the deal. I know that the — again, the
President’s viewpoint was I’m going to make one last run. When it
appeared we couldn’t get the Chinese earlier in the day, the President
said, well, if we can’t get the Chinese then let’s get the next three
that are — absolutely they’re working as a team. They’ve got similar
interests, there’s no doubt about that.

Again, the only surprise we had, in all honesty, was we did not know at
6:15 p.m., when we moved our meeting from 6:15 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., that
in that room wasn’t just the Chinese having a meeting about their
posture going into the 7:00 p.m. meeting, but in fact all four countries
that we had been trying to arrange meetings with were indeed all in the
same room.

Q Well, when did that become clear? When the President goes to that
meeting does he think he’s going to meet Wen, and walks in the door and
is, like, oh, everyone is here?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, no. Denis and I had told him that —
we had told him –

Q That they were all in there?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: — that the room that the meeting is
being held in for our bilateral currently contains the leaders of those
four countries. And he said, “Good.”

Q That was his thought — good?


Q Can I ask one logistical –

Q So he said, “Good,” and, I’m going to go up there at 7:00 p.m. for my
prior appointment with Wen –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: He said, “Good,” on the way to walking
to the meeting. I mean, we had a 7:00 p.m. meeting and we were walking
on our way to meet our 7:00 p.m. meeting. We briefed him that our 7:00
p.m. meeting is in a room currently occupied by not just the Chinese,
but the three other countries. And the President’s viewpoint is, I
wanted to see them all and now is our chance.

Q Were they waiting for him there? Is that why they were all there,
because they knew he was coming?

Q Was there surprise when he walked in?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, the Chinese were waiting for us. I
do not believe they anticipated that the meeting that we ultimately had
would actually include all the countries. There’s no doubt –

Q They thought you guys would wait until they were done?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I don’t know whether they thought we
would — there really wasn’t anybody to — actually I think we were shown
into the room, in all honesty. I think we were shown which direction to
go to the room and I think there was no doubt there was some surprise
that we were going to join the bigger meeting.

Q I’ve got to ask why you didn’t have better intel — and I don’t mean in
the CIA sense – on where all these people were? I mean, it’s not –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We did. We thought they were at the airport.

Q Right, exactly.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I mean, that’s what we were told.

Q But, you know, you’re all sort of in a close area there. Why didn’t
anybody from the administration know where all these people were? I mean –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, it’s not our job to know where
Prime Minister Singh is if his — if we’re told he’s at the airport.

Q But usually at these summits there’s a lot of Sherpa-tracking going on
and that sort of thing, you know.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, look, I — I mean, we were — we
were told they were at the airport. We were told delegations were split
up. We were told they weren’t going to meet — Zuma wasn’t going to come
unless he was under the impression that the other two were going to come.

Q Do you think that’s all part of the brinksmanship and the sort of
horse-trading and maneuvering?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I honestly think that they — well, my
gut instinct tells me that they knew they had to make one more run at this.

Q One more?


Q But there’s this — what they call a taxicab strategy, when you always
threaten to walk out. I mean, do you think that’s what –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, they didn’t threaten to walk out.
When we tried to set up the meetings we were told they were gone. I
mean, if they employed that strategy they didn’t lay down the threat.

Q Can I ask a logistical question just about when — I mean, because
we’re all on the plane and we land at 1:00 a.m. in the morning –


Q If we’re lucky.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: If somebody wants to type this up and
call it in, I will tell them that that’s fine to do — largely because I
want to be — I want to make clear, we did not break into what we thought
was a secret meeting, okay? Again, the reason that we appeared at the
room — the reason we appeared at the room was at — in the 5:00 p.m. hour
the Chinese wanted to move their 6:15 p.m. meeting back to 7:00 p.m. in
the room that they had for their meetings. We said, fine. We were
walking to meet our 7:00 p.m. appointment.

Q Well, you guys want — I mean, can we — because are we going to try and
get this in for tonight? Or — I just want to make sure that — the one
thing I just want to make sure doesn’t happen is a transcript lands and
some — and we don’t somewhere –

Q I’m more interested in what happens between 7:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It’s a good story, my friend, and with a
little luck we’ll be able to tell that at a little bit later leg on the

Q That’s what I mean. So we, like hold — are we holding everything until
we land? Or are we trying to, like –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I just want to make sure — I don’t want
to be — just again, I just want to make sure that — the reason I gave
you this series of events is because to accurately portray just sort of
what is happening and when. We did not — again, our presence at that
room at 7:00 p.m. was expected based on the meeting that we had set up.
Whether or –

Q With Wen.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Right. Whether or not the other — fair
enough we did not know the other three were there until at a point at
which we were about to go and walking to that meeting.

Q And you and Denis told the President?


Q Was anybody mad about it?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No. We thought this was a great
opportunity to finish four meetings.

Q The other guys.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: You know, it’s hard to tell because the
truth is — and we’ll get into this on the next leg of this — there were
— quickly dove into about an hour and 20 minutes worth of negotiating
that — I want to do this part off the record.

* * * * *

SENIOR ADMINSTRATION OFFICIAL: So, the President believed that he needed
to talk to Wen, they needed to make one more run at getting an
agreement. So he’s in this meeting — this is the group of leaders that
we first visit in the very beginning of the morning. So it is comprised
of — obviously you’re going to take the four out that are already in the
different meeting. So you’ve got a pretty decent cross-section, first,
of — you’ve the Europeans — you’ve got Merkel, Brown, Sarkozy; you’ve
got Rudd from Australia; you’ve got Rasmussen from Denmark. You’ve also
got Meles from Ethiopia; you’ve got Mexico, Norway — so you basically
have the smaller developing countries, Europe, Australia, Scandinavia —
so you basically have the larger group minus the four that he ultimately

This larger group had come to the conclusion that the agreement would
either — they needed to make one more run at two main points. One of
them was the percent reduction by 2050 and the temperature change, as
well as the transparency; that they had to do that with Wen or they were
not going to get an agreement.

So, at this point — so the President went around to — went around the
table, physically walking around the table, talking to Ethiopia, France,
Germany, Great Britain, Australia, the Maldives — all these countries to
talk about what they were going to go — what he was going to go do in
making a last run at Premier Wen. And they talked about the fact that if
they didn’t — if they went to Wen and they couldn’t get an agreement,
that basically they would still try to structure something for those
that would sign on in order to continue to make progress toward
something in the future.

So essentially the President has — is working with Europe, Asia — I’m
sorry, Europe, Australia, and others in the developed — of the developed
economies, in addition to the smaller developing countries minus India,
China, Brazil, and South Africa, which is essential in ensuring that, in
all honesty, the other four realized — this is where I think the other
four realized that they’ve got to make one more run at this, too,
because what they were — what the President was discussing along with
this group was, if they couldn’t get something that included China,
India, Brazil, and South Africa on transparency and temperature
mitigation, that they would get what they could with who they could get
it with.

So you basically have — you’ve got — you’ve now got two different
coalitions. All right.

Q I just don’t understand your last sentence — they would get what they
could with who they could get it with.

SENIOR ADMINSTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, basically if the Chinese were
unwilling to do transparency, and the Indians and the Brazilians and the
South Africans followed the Chinese, then the President and those in
that multilateral group would try to get something that all they could
agree on, and we would go out with all of that.

I mean, look, I think it’s safe to say at that point in the day, China
had real — they were balking at transparency. The President thought at
the very least we could get — we can make progress on something by
putting together a coalition of those that were agreeable to having some
sort of declaration or agreement.

Q And that coalition included both developing and developed countries?

SENIOR ADMINSTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, and that obviously is the key to –

Q Like you could create leverage against the four outstanding.

SENIOR ADMINSTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, yes. I think that’s why people
stowed their luggage in their overhead bins and decided to come back to
the negotiating table. Came back from the airport.

All right? Thanks, guys.

Copenhagen Accord

Bolivia lays down its position that this COP has taken note, but has not adopted the Copenhagen Accord. he suggests that the process to join Copenhagen Accord cannot be under the UN, but under Denmark or someone like that. This is going to be a sticking point.

Green Party USA: US killed necessary steps against global warmin


For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,

Green Party leaders: US negotiators at the Copenhagen summit helped kill necessary measures against global warming, replacing them with vague vows on greenhouse gas emissions

Green Party Speakers Bureau: US Greens available to speak on ecological sustainability and global warming

WASHINGTON, DC -- US Green Party leaders expressed their dismay with the failure of the UN summit in Copenhagen to reach an agreement on international action to curb climate change.

Greens have been especially critical of the grossly inadequate emissions reduction proposals that the US and other rich countries brought to Copenhagen, the lockout of NGOs from the Bella Center while oil company executives were welcomed, the brutal treatment of protesters in Copenhagen, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's announcement by that concrete measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be replaced by vows of transparency and good intentions.

Cynthia McKinney, 2008 Green Party nominee for President of the United States: "The 'Copenhagen Accord' announced on the final day of the summit is a sham. It was not adopted by UN delegates and carries no force. The US is trying to invalidate the UN's efforts by pressuring developing countries to sign on to the Copenhagen Accord, threatening to withhold their share of the $100 billion in wealthy countries' compensation from developing countries that refuse to sign. The compensation money is meant to help offset the economic effects of measures against climate change and the dire consequences of climate change that many developing nations will suffer. This is blackmail of the worst kind, placing billions of lives in danger. Unless a real and binding accord can be reached during next year's meeting in Mexico, the Copenhagen failure risks a breakdown in global security, when the increasing effects of global warming lead to global conflicts over dwindling resources."

Mike Feinstein, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States, former mayor of Santa Monica, California, and participant in the December 2007 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali ( "What is the legacy of the Copenhagen meeting? No emissions reduction targets. No requirement for verification of progress from nations on emission reductions. No acknowledgement that developed industrial countries have created most of the problem and therefore must carry most of the burden of the solution. No firm commitment on mitigation and adaptation aid from developed countries to developing countries, especially in light of decades of exploitation and taking of resources from poorer nations and skyrocketing consumption rates in countries like the US. The US and its Canadian and European allies must be held responsible, as should growing large-scale greenhouse gas emitters like China and India, for placing the freedom of nation-states to continue polluting and growing in a cancerous, unsustainable manner ahead of the future of people and the earth. Failing to deal with climate change is a crime against our planet. Dividing the global community by pitting large emitters against the poorest and most vulnerable is a crime against humanity.."

Audrey Clement, co-chair of the Green Party's EcoAction Committee: "The two most important causes of climate change -- excess consumption and excess population growth -- were apparently never raised in or around Copenhagen. The solution to the former is the adoption of energy conservation as the linchpin of national energy policies in the industrialized world. The solution to the latter is the promotion of family planning, sex education, and contraception, which require securing rights and equality for women throughout the world. If we don't take our own steps to check population growth, global warming will do it for us."

Martin Zehr, co-chair of the EcoAction Committee: "International diplomacy has proven inadequate in addressing the most fundamental issue confronting humanity. The hedged bet will be paid by future generations. With or without an agreement in Copenhagen, Greens will continue to include the voices of scientists and environmentalists in policy development and work to reduce the dominance of corporations in decisions about climate policy. It is clear that states, such as California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas need special attention in the national effort to reduce emissions ( We've made water a top priority, since access to fresh water faces a particular threat from global climate change ( The EcoAction Committee of the Green Party is increasing its role in public education, providing policy support to Green candidates and working with others towards a sharp reduction of GHG emissions at the federal and state levels no later than 2015. The failure of the Copenhagen conference to establish real targets for energy transition makes our work that much more important if we are to see any change in direction."


Green Party of the United States
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Green candidate database and campaign information:
Green Party News Center
Green Party Speakers Bureau
Green Party ballot access page
Green Party Livestream Channel

Committees of the Green Party of the United States:
EcoAction Committee
International Committee

"Copenhagen collapse shows the power of polluters over politicians"
By Bob Brown (Australian Green leader), The Herald Sun (Melbourne), December 21, 2009

"Climate Betrayal in Copenhagen"
The Green Party of Canada, December 18, 2009

"Global Greens call for honest, scientifically sound climate agreement"
Global Greens, December 13, 2009

"Global Greens forum on December 13 to address global warming during UN Copenhagen Climate Conference"
Green Party of the United States, December 9, 2009
Live streaming of the event:

"Global Greens Second Congress 2008 -- Climate Change -- Time for Transformation Declaration"

United Nations Copenhagen Climate Conference

"Global Economic Apartheid Is Obstacle to Fair Climate Deal"
By Claudia Ciobanu, Inter Press Service / TerraViva, December 17, 2009

Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States
Fall 2009 issue now online

~ END ~

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