Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chaos in Copenhagen as Attendees Freeze Outdoors and Transit System Goes Blooey

The NYT reports that China and U.S. Hit Strident Impasse at Climate Talks:

COPENHAGEN — China and the United States were at an impasse on Monday at the United Nations climate change conference here over how compliance with any treaty could be monitored and verified.

China, which last month for the first time publicly announced a target for reducing the rate of growth of its greenhouse gas emissions, is refusing to accept any kind of international monitoring of its emissions levels, according to negotiators and observers here. The United States is insisting that without stringent verification of China’s actions, it cannot support any deal.

The stalemate came on a day of public and private brinkmanship as the talks moved into their second and final week. Earlier Monday, a group of poor nations staged a brief walkout from the bargaining table, and a chaotic registration system left thousands of attendees freezing outside the conference hall and forced the temporary closing of the subway stop near the Bella Center, where the meetings are being held.

The slow progress of the climate negotiations could pose problems later in the week, when the heads of government begin arriving. It is not customary for so many technical, financial and emotional issues to be unsettled when national leaders sit down to negotiate an agreement.

This appears to be a poorly-produced show. I wouldn't know, but is it possible that that President both has too much on his plate and would be helped by being more decisive?

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