October 22, 2009

Some politicians are mentioning “Copenhagen” and “Doha” in the same breath — a worrying lament less than 2 months to go before a U.N. climate deal is meant to be wrapped up in the Danish capital.

So is there a risk — if negotiators are not smart — that the new U.N. accord to fight global warming will stall like the long-running Doha round on freeing world trade, launched in 2001?

India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, for instance, said on Oct. 10 that negotiators should aim for a realistic agreement in Copenhagen from Dec. 7-18 that was not too ambitious. He said there was a risk of repeating the “mistake of the Doha round”, saying that “the basic problem of the Doha round was ‘all or nothing’.”

And British Finance Minister Alistair Darling said on Oct. 21 that he wanted to ensure that the climate talks do not keep dragging on like the Doha round.

The WWF environmental group says there’s a lack of leadership in the run-up to Copenhagen, with a rise in whispered suggestions that the talks might fail.

One week of formal climate negotiations remains before Copenhagen, in Barcelona from Nov. 2-6, after almost two years of meetings.

“The world doesn’t want Copenhagen to come to mean another Doha,” said Kim Carstensen, head of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative.

Talks on the existing Kyoto Protocol for curbing emissions, agreed in Japan in December 1997 also often looked bleak in the run-up, especially after the U.S. Senate voted that year by 95-0 against some of the basic principles of an accord. 

WWF accused industrialised nations of trying to lower expectations for a deal “as they continue to dodge the hard decisions on slashing their emissions and funding the transition to a low carbon economy.”

So will Copenhagen echo Doha?

((Picture: Top: Smoke rises out of a cement plant in Baokang, Hubei province September 12, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer. Right: A Qatari security policeman guards the WTO conference centre during the 2001 conference in Doha. REUTERS/Nayef Hashlamoun))


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Without despising the importance of the Doha Round for the world, we can all hope leaders in Copenhagen won’t make the same mistakes as in Doha, and this for one main reason: what is at stake this time (climate change, our planet at risk, ourselves at risk) is far more vital than the international trade negotiations. Our survival depends on it and hopefully, this will make the difference.

Posted by Estelle Rouhaud | Report as abusive

The leaders that will be meeting to seal the deal MUST have one agenda ONLY and that is to takea decision to effectively make changes that will be for the betterment of humanity and the planet…No Hidden Agenda’s PLEASE, no more double dealing…

Posted by Asiya Khan | Report as abusive

Why have so many people become “sheeple”?
You all should be questioning this stuff.
The worst 9 words you can hear are:
“I’m from the government, I have come to help”.
Doesn’t anyone believe that if you only hear one side of an argument that that in itself should send up a red flag. It’s not about the enviroment, it’s about money and power and one world government. Do you all feel that arrogant that we humans can change the climate????

Posted by Wayne | Report as abusive

Lets hope that world leaders will acknowledge climate science of the past couple of years showing climate change 98% due to changes in solar output. This being confirmed by actual temp data and not incomplete and inaccurate computer models.

Likely they will loose any remaining credibility and ignore most current science and continue with their power and money grab under the disguise of global warming/climate change.

Even using their outdated computer modeling the solutions proposed to their made up crisis would not make any difference in temperature rise using their own discredited science.

Of course they would let facts and reality get in the way of their arrogant power grab.

All free people around the world should reject the proposed climate treaty for what it is an attempt to create a flawed world government where free men and women are subservient to unelected and unaccountable UN bureaucrats.

Posted by Mark Cable | Report as abusive

What power grab? What global government? What discredited science?

Is there more power grab than having the world under the rule of oil?

Is there more global government, than having everybody pumping gas at prices controled by few, rather than have every country harvesting solar, wind, hidric, biofuels, etc, with their own resources?

“Discredited science? Do you all feel that arrogant that we humans can change the climate?”
Are you kidding me??? What are your science sources?

We cannot only change the climate, we have done it for decades!

6 billions of humans pumping tons and tons of CO2 and other gases, cutting forests — no IMPACT?!?!?!
Ever heard of acid rain? Ever heard of the ozone layer hole? Ever heard the island effect in bug cities?

You make me laugh!

Posted by Ricardo | Report as abusive

global warming is a UN political agenda, with them playing doomstay scenario. Did you see UK scientists getting caught fudging climate data to prove warming when there was none.

IPCC needs to release their data sets, analysis in the open for other scientists to review.

Posted by p raja | Report as abusive