After years of denial, equivocation, obfuscation, and obstruction on the environment, the Bush Administration has finally been pressured into giving some ground…by Papua New Guinea. The (economically) small island nation had no problem piling the shame on the U.S. delegation to the U.N. environment conference in Bali. The delegate from Papua New Guinea told the United States to etiher lead or get the hell out of the way and stop trying to prevent other nations from making progress. It was great, and worked. To be certain, all they got was an agreement by the U.S. to allow negotiations to continue, which isn’t much, but with a short speech they managed to accomplish what so many others have failed at.
Late-night drama pushes US into climate deal
overran by a day and the American delegation found itself being roundly
booed, but a compromise deal on saving the planet has been hammered out
at the climate change conference. Juliette Jowit, Caroline Davies and
David Adam in Bali report
After tears, jeers and a dramatic eleventh-hour U-turn by the United
States, a compromise deal for a new international climate change agenda
was finally struck in Bali yesterday, just as talks appeared on the
brink of collapse.
Amid extraordinary and emotional scenes, which
at one point saw the American delegation booed at the UN climate change
conference, ministers from more 180 countries thrashed out agreement
after days of wrangling.
The resulting ‘Bali roadmap’ is a
global warming pact that starts a two-year process of negotiations
designed to agree a new set of emissions targets to replace those in
the Kyoto protocol.
But the road was extremely rocky. Talks
stalled as Paula Dobriansky, head of the US delegation, signalled that
America opposed calls from poorer countries for technological and
financial help to combat climate change. It seemed any agreement was
doomed. Then Papua New Guinea took to the floor and, in a highly
charged speech, its delegate challenged the US: ‘If you’re not willing
to lead, get out of the way.’
Minutes later, in an astonishing reversal, Dobriansky returned to
announce, to cheers from the hall: ‘We will go forward and join the
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.