Copenhagen: It's all about trade, not global warming, and China is the target

Copenhagen: It's all about trade, not global warming, and China is the target

Summary: The run up to the Copenhagen Summit has been fraught with controversy. UPDATED:5:00 EST: Tentative deal reached between U.S., China & India


The run up to the Copenhagen Summit has been fraught with controversy. For two weeks delegates and ministers have thumped their policies as better than others or criticized plans that do not meet their respective leader's goals. Demonstrators arrested, countries wanting a free ride or exemption for those that emit CO2 at ratios that they believe is what they can achieve.  Others are simply ignoring the issue altogether. And then there's East Anglia, the single largest black eye to the global science community in decades. Right or wrong, this incident threatened the outcome of any deal that could happen.  Connie Hedegaard, President of the Copenhagen summit said it best prior to the start of the talks: to get an agreement it's a political solution and not a scientific one.

A deal needs to be signed, global leaders know that it must -- or face consequences back home. As the opening gambit in the negotiations began to take hold, to get the text of an agreement done the real deal making started to make the public rounds - money. Japan offered $8 billion to help countries that need it. The script was soon followed by other nations, with the EU offering billions more.

As the second week of the conference began in earnest, the bickering continued with leaders not concentrating on the science or the naysayers at all, but instead the money and who was going to contribute what.  Then a new carrot and stick was brought to the table: The United States announced $100 Billion.  That woke every delegate up, but would it work and get talks moving in the right direction?  For a few hours it did as government leaders from around the world started showing up. Cards were being laid on the table and it was time to call any bluffs and get a deal done. Some countries however don't want to spend any money on emissions controls or technology.

China, the single largest emissions (per tonne) target in the world, knew that it was going to be at a disadvantage no matter what they did or do coming into Copenhagen. The arithmetic was not going to work in their favor; population ratios, manufacturing output, and the sheer volume of anything industrial in the country was going to hurt China's economic interest, let alone what emissions technology was going to cost.  China wants a ratio of reduction based on existing industrial indicators. The world wants reduction based on previous stated tonnes produced in either 1999 or 2004. China has flat out rejected such a model. Such a  static model would be impossible to achieve for them, and other nations should recognize this and haven't.

For many countries, particularly in the United States, Canada, and the U.K. the Copenhagen Treaty is the perfect instrument that conveys to China, that it should no longer be the low cost provider of manufactured goods. Everyone thought that the WTO would help equalize imbalances and it backfired. China's solution was to fix its currency, which has prevented any equalization occurring.

Lost in all this is the work that scientists around the world have been trying to tell leaders, the world is getting warmer and climate change is happening. There is hope that the noise can be eliminated and a true emissions treaty can be signed.  Scientists know all about politics, the question is, can they get around the economic rhetoric? At Copenhagen probably not, but if the nations can sign a deal of ANY kind, they can get a foothold that starts in the right direction.

Perhaps the biggest news coming out of Copenhagen: Presidents and Prime Ministers recognize that greenhouse gases are a problem they have to deal with. The naysayers of global warming are finished. As of 6:00 P.M. Copenhagen time, no deal has been signed and the talks continue with none of the world leaders indicating immediate departure.

Update 5:00 P.M. EST: A deal may have been reached between the U.S. China, India and South Africa. No official announcement has been made as of yet.

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Topics: China, CXO

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  • In hope that Harper will loose next election

    By defending Sand-oil Harper just alienated Most
    province .... when Ontario and Quebec say the same
    thing at the same time ... its frightening at best

    Bye bye Mr harper good ridden ...Moron
    • I asked you before...

      ...if it is proven that the entire Man Made Global Warming is invalid, at best a mistake at worst a true and dliberate IPCC fraud, will you then give your Prime Minister credit for keeping your country much stronger than it would have been by not exerting it's own determination over these resources.

      Trust me, the way the current administration is damaging the economy down here with eco-spread the wealth agenda, even if AGW is proven to be untrue, it will be years before we fully recover. Not one new drop of oil being looked for, no natural gas expansion, no infrastructure to run vehicles on it, just nothing. Unless it costs 10xs normal and is green, it is not getting done.

      • can we change prime minister for your president please

        as a bargain ill throw all the conservative
        party with him.... and a case of beer just to
        be sure ..

        We take Obama no question ask ...if you should
        choose to send beer please samuel adam or some
        micro brewery please no bud no coors no

        At best even if the whole climate deal is a
        fraud will keep obama thx you if we must will
        send beer offend but we keep obama period ....
        • No thanks.

          I'm a Canadian and I am pleased that Harper is standing against these meetings. Tactfully so, I might add.

          Obama is a fraud. I had serious hope for him to end the wars and be a truly great president. But it turns out that he is simply supporting, extenting and amplifying all of GWB's policies. The Patriot Act, the extension of detention without charge, the appointment of the former head of the New York Federal Reserve as Secretary of the Treasury. Obama is the servant of the bankers and grand geopolitical thinkers who started the oil wars in two countries.

          "Presidents are selected, not elected."
          Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
          • Come on Orwell anybody except Harper

            When Both Ontario and Quebec say the same thing
            to Ottawa .. That scary
            Harper defend Alberta Oil-sand period ( Guys i
            know its good money but its a bit too much
            dirty )

            In the end the defense of Alberta Oil-sand will
            cause am major rift in canadian politic ...
            Maybe a redefinition of the canadian
            constitution will happen fast then we think
          • And that might be ugly....

            A redefinition of the constitution might be either a boon or a curse to Quebec... It all depends on what they modify...

            On a lighter note: if they open the constitution I wish they would but Fair Dealing as a Constitution protected right
          • Too much to ask for.

            But I agree. Fair dealing should be a constitutional amendment.
        • Deal!

          I don't think the public can wait to change the "change", with at least a complete lame duck presidency starting Nov next year. Even trade, Obama + case of Canadian for Harper and case of Sam Adams.

          • ITS A DEAL

            where do i send him capitol hill ... just send
            obama to Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Ontario.

            that was a playsure doing business with you (
            quick send them Harper before they realize what
            they done quick .... send 100 case of beer
            with that maybe just maybe they will forget
            about the whole deal quick )

            thx you :)
    • I also hope he loses...

      But not for the tar-sands(because regardless, Alberta will countinue to do most of Canada's pollution... while still selling 99% of their production to the US.) but rather for their attitude on ACTA and other similar fake anti-conterfeit turned intro Customers gutting super laws....
    • Harper sucks

      Yea PM Harper should really leave the parliament!
  • Global warming is a money grab pure and simple

    A shameless money grab that has nothing to do with science. It's always been agenda driven. Period. For decades before Extortionhagen. It is not based on science and never has been. Science, junk twisted science, has just been manufactured for purposes of persuasion. That any world leaders have bought into it is truly sad. That the US President has is terribly embarassing. The only deal the US should even consider signing is one that says we'll continue to do R&D on better emissions controls tech and green energy tech and when it's truly ready on it's own merits without subsidy we'll be happy to sell it to you. We should sign nothing that gives away US taxpayer dollars under the pretenses that man has caused this stage in the milleniums old cyclical climate change or that man can impact it going forward. We haven't, and we we won't because we can't, at any cost. That's what the true science really shows when it's not manipulated.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Yes!

      The money is better used to clean-up the oceans, stop the West dumping toxic waste on the 3rd world, and exact more equitable trade rules enforceable worldwide!
    • truth

      If politicians wanted to do any real good they
      would encourage an industry of high tech energy
      solutions but instead they want us to eat each
  • Bring the JOBS back to America is 'Priority One'

    The fact that Wal-Mart is prospering in an economic recession is most symbolic of our country's (U.S.) looming trade deficit.

    There is no such thing as 'Free Trade' and what continues to happen in our country is the continual exodus of Jobs to third-world countries in favour of Corporate cost cutting.

    Unemployment is at a record high.

    The ONLY way that Jobs will return to the U.S. (where they belong) is if:

    1) We legislate and prohibit the Corporate practice of off-shoring Jobs and provide punitive fines and/or litigate.

    2) Begin levying tariffs on imported goods (phases over several years and targeted), or issue Export Licenses, which would balance the cost of imported goods against the cost of producing same domestically.

    Monies derived from item 2 tariffs could be redirected into business incubators to cultivate the return of entrepreneurial business development.

    It would discourage price dumping and U.S. manufacturers would be able to set assumptions on the cost of producing products that U.S. consumers would purchase if they knew the exports were in parity, cost-wise.

    In turn, such a return of manufacturing would bring back demand for job placement, unemployment would decline, consumers who get put back to work would have the ability to spend and improve our own local economy.

    I don't believe that NAFTA, CAFTA, or the World Trade Organization have benefited the best interests of our country whatsoever.

    Until these changes happen, our country will continue to decline.

    Reclaim our jobs. It is strategically vital that our country be 'self-sufficient'!

    God Bless America.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz
    D T Schmitz
    • Right idea, a different strategy.

      [B]We legislate and prohibit the Corporate practice of off-shoring Jobs and provide punitive fines and/or litigate.[/B]

      No, that does not fix the root cause of the problem. America is not the place to do business anymore. The Government has made is a regulatory and tax nightmare to go into business. Doing what you propose would simply mean that the headquarters of these corporations are moved out of the US. A huge part of the problem, with any manufacturing, a mandate in many states that you MUST employ only union labor. Texas has been more immune to this trend with some manufacturing simply because it is a "right to work" state.

      Notice a trend in the above, lol. Which states are in the worst trouble?

      [B]Begin levying tariffs on imported goods (phases over several years and targeted), or issue Export Licenses, which would balance the cost of imported goods against the cost of producing same domestically.[/B]

      This is not required if you fix the root cause. Simply put, until you allow someone to build something locally at less cost than overseas+shipping, business will leave.

      • Ban China made iPods and iPhones!

        Ban China made iPods and iPhones!
      • Stop the haemorrhage

        The country will continue to financially haemorrhage (monies that flow to foreign manufactures for sale of consumer goods [b]leave[/b] our country and don't flow through our economy).

        So, the ONLY way to stop the 'bleeding' is to apply a tourniquet--and that is 'targeted' (by: country, industry sector, national industrial classification) tariffs to allow U.S. manufacturers to compete.

        Corporations that so choose to move off-shore would be subject to the same tariffs to discourage such practices.

        It will work if we rid Washington of Corporate Lobbying, and rescind laws e.g., CAFTA, NAFTA and severe our relationship with the World Trade Organization.

        It has to be done not only for our survival, but for our country's strategic national interests.

        The issue of Labor Rights and Unions is an internal domestic matter that can be managed 'in favor' of the Employee's best interests.

        America cannot save the World.
        America must save itself.
        America must remain 'self-sufficient'!

        D T Schmitz
    • With overpaid UAW, it is not gonna work

      BTW, China has already prohibited direct foreign investment in high pollution or high energy consumption primary manufacturing, and in low-technology, low-skill, outsourcing oriented manufacturing it is discouraged.
  • RE: Copenhagen: It's all about trade, not global warming, and China is the target

    Global warming is a hoax. I didn't believe it until the emails from East Anglia were released. But now I see the scientist working on the climate issue are being purposefully deceitful and not sharing their information with skeptics. No matter the reason, scientific information should never be withheld. To do so runs contrary to the entire scientific process.

    I admit that the emails themselves are not totally damning of the concept of man-made climate change. But they did provoke some research on my part. I have concluded that the global warming trend we are seeing is part of a natural process.

    When the Vikings landed on Greenland, they named it aptly. Because it was a vast green land when they arrived there but now is a frozen ice sheet. Hundreds of years ago Newfoundlanders tended to vineyards and made wine where it is now much too cold to do this.

    Global warming, as far as I can tell, is nothing but a vehicle for the implementation of a new global tax regime. All consumer goods, and even life itself will be subject to a tax on carbon. Imagine having to pay a fee to have a child or to own a pet?

    Further, I think the global community's preoccupation with carbon emissions seems to me to be little more than a simple bait and switch tactic. Never mind the countless different chemicals which are being created in laboratories around the world and unleashed on our environment every day. Never mind the thousands of species of wild life we drive to extinction every year through deforestation and urban sprawl. Never mind the introduction of foreign animal species into delicately balanced ecologic areas.

    We are being force fed the concept that controlling CO2 will solve all of our environmental problems when the science supporting the idea is at the very least subject to question, after the release of the hacked East Anglia emails, and at most a complete hoax orchestrated on the people to facilitate a global taxation system and a One World Government.