- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Some of the meeting planners said earlier that they did not think there would be any real meaningful goals coming from this meeting. Their hopes were that the meetings would result in agreements to set further studies and panels that would meet over the next year and agree on a timetable that would lead to establishing goals.
Obama's staff has said it is not acceptable to come out of the meetings with only a timetable for additional meetings and real limits should be discussed in Copenhagen. However, the meetings with China did not result in an agreement between the two nations. China is concerned that forcing CO2 emission limits and timetables on them would damage their economy. Some officials have quietly conceded that the rhetoric in the coming days would not stress the control of CO2 but rather focus on the idea that developing green technology will lead to more jobs around the world and that would have a net impact on climate change.
Obama's team has said they hope that the Congress in the U.S. will complete a climate bill by the time the conference kicks off so they can declare we are serious about CO2 control. Personally, I don't think that will happen.
A telling comment comes from the United Nation's Copenhagen conference website that reads, "Apart from the U.S., all industrialized countries have given targets for their greenhouse gas emission reductions." So, I guess that means the U.N. does not consider China to be an industrialized nation. While most of the world's industrial output has been negative the last year, China has been positive. While they used to enjoy double-digit industrial growth, they took steps as the world recession kicked into high gear and managed to maintain positive growth pretty much throughout this period. The Forecast for 2009 is for 10.5 percent growth. They enjoy a positive trade agreement with most countries.
So, at this point in time, I would expect that there will be a lot of finger pointing at the upcoming meetings and the agreements will be for more studies and further meetings. I hope the U.S. representatives do not allow us to promise more than we should be delivering and keep us at an economic disadvantage. I will keep watching and try to post updates about the meetings on Twitter.