Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mark Lynas: How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room

Mark Lynas has an article in today's Guardian which lays the blame for the lack of success at Copenhagen squarely at the door of China:

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful "deal" so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

China's strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world's poor once again. And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait. The failure was "the inevitable result of rich countries refusing adequately and fairly to shoulder their overwhelming responsibility", said Christian Aid. "Rich countries have bullied developing nations," fumed Friends of the Earth International.

All very predictable, but the complete opposite of the truth. Even George Monbiot, writing in yesterday's Guardian, made the mistake of singly blaming Obama. But I saw Obama fighting desperately to salvage a deal, and the Chinese delegate saying "no", over and over again. Monbiot even approvingly quoted the Sudanese delegate Lumumba Di-Aping, who denounced the Copenhagen accord as "a suicide pact, an incineration pact, in order to maintain the economic dominance of a few countries".

Sudan behaves at the talks as a puppet of China; one of a number of countries that relieves the Chinese delegation of having to fight its battles in open sessions. It was a perfect stitch-up. China gutted the deal behind the scenes, and then left its proxies to savage it in public.

You can read the whole thing by clicking here.

But it's quite clear that China are determined to have no limits placed on them once they become the strongest person in the room.

We have all known for some time that China will, at some point in the future, overtake the US as the most powerful nation on Earth. But I would have thought that they might actually want to inherit a world which was sustainable. Who wants to lead a world that is on the verge of collapse due to global warming? Apparently, China do...


daveawayfromhome said...

If anyone is going to stand up to China, it's going to have to be the EU or Russia. China owns the U.S., which stupidly sold itself for cheap oil, even though we've known that was a bad road to follow since the seventies. Anything that was aimed at Obama was really aimed at the U.S. as a whole, showing us that we really couldnt stand up to them in any real way.

Kel said...


I think you are right. China in many ways owns the US at this point in time and can do what they like.

Critic said...

I completely disagree, Mark Lynas is looking at things from his point of view and not theirs. This is terrible for negotiations.