Friday, December 14, 2007

Climate change: time to stop indulging the US

Negotiators are Currently meeting at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali in an effort to establish the framework for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. But as with previous talks on the subject, we're seeing the usual games, with the US (aided and abetted by its reliable stooges Canada and Japan) attempting to disrupt the talks and prevent them from agreeing to a ballpark target for future emissions reductions by developed nations of 25 - 40%. They're also objecting to a statementthat emissions must peak and decline within a decade. Both positions are mainstream scientific opinion, endorsed by the IPCC in its latest report, which makes a mockery of the US's claim to want "science driven" policy.

The US does this at every meeting. They play no constructive role in negotiations, but attempt to wreck them and prevent others from reaching any positive agreement. It's time we stopped indulging them, or pandering to their belief in their own relevance. The US is run by a lame-duck President leading a lame-duck administration, and everyone knows policy will change when he leaves office in January 2009. If the current US administration will not participate meaningfully in these negotiations, then the rest of the world should simply work around them, reach a strong agreement, and let Bush's successor join up when they enter office.