No Real Deal In Copenhagen - And Where Was Hatoyama?

There has been no real agreement at the end of the COP 15 climate change conference in Copenhagen, a huge loss of opportunity as world leaders met to agree to a legally binding treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

From the news reports this morning, one thing is clear: Japan did virtually nothing to fascilitate the negotiations. Where was Prime Minister Hatoyama? It was left to Environment Minister Ozawa to talk to the press, and announce "about 1.75 trillion yen over the three years through 2012 to support efforts by developing nations to fight global warming," according to The Yomiuri.

Japan's offer sounds good until you read the fine print:

Ozawa explained that some of the funding will be in Yen loans, and Ozawa said implementation of the funding was conditional on COP15 participants agreeing on a political accord that establishes a framework for fair and effective cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, including aggressive reduction targets for all the major emitting countries.

"If this condition isn't met, [the offer of funding] will cease to be an international promise," Ozawa emphasized.

The Times argues that it was the US who failed to live up to expectations:

The one positive outcome for developing countries was a commitment by rich countries to provide $30 billion of climate aid over the next three years and $100 billion a year from 2020. The US announced by far the lowest pledge. It will contribute $3.6 billion between 2010 and 2012, while Japan will give $11 billion and the European Union $10.6 billion.

The Times: Copenhagen deadlock wrapped up as emissions deal

As far as I can see, there has been no official comment from Japan's government or from Prime minister Hatoyama himself. That shows a lack of awareness about what is at stake. The Kyoto Protocol will now expire, and Japan had virtually nothing else to offer than an empty promise.

You can read the brief Hatoyama Initiative as a pdf document on the official government page, with the $11 billion pledge, but why Hatoyama's name should be on this is beyond me - that's public funds, not his own money. Perhaps he could have asked his rich mother for some advice?

Comments

Canada Guy said…
Copenhagen has failed. The UN has failed to address the most important crisis in human history. This is now the time for sanctions, boycotts and embargoes. A new alliance is needed. An alliance of hope and peace and justice must be built to oppose the axis of pollution, extinction and self destruction.

http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/12/beyond-copenhagen.html
Pandabonium said…
Hatoyama was in on discussions, but it was Wen Jiabao who walked out and later went into a separate meeting with Obama.

"Premier Wen requested that he needed a break to give more thought to the issues. After the break China did not return to the table, so now discussion is being resumed without China being present," Kodama quoted Hatoyama as telling Japanese journalists.

The money being "offered" by industrial countries - particularly the announcement by Clinton - is hype to make political points at home and try to placate the non-industrial world. No nations have such money nor do they have any idea where it would come from or if it political circumstances would permit it being spent. (Though it is interesting to note that next year the USA will spend US$ 700 billion that it doesn't have on its military.)
Martin J Frid said…
Thanks for the excellent comments.

Canada Guy, yes I wish I could have written this in a more hopeful way. You make really excellent points about the need for a new axis to replace the old polluting ways.

P, thanks for finding that information about Hatoyama. Japanese media has not reported very well from this conference, and I'm especially disappointed that they could not get any substantial comment from Hatoyama about the final process - or even take him to task for leaving before it was all over.

The money is already irrelevant as Japanese press is reporting that Japan will now review its 25% reduction target and of course the $11 billion will not be paid - yen loan guarantees is business as usual and goes to huge dams, nuclear power, and other projects, and that sum is now also subject to change.
Tom O said…
"An alliance of hope and peace and justice must be built to oppose the axis of pollution, extinction and self destruction."

Main problem here is that said 'axis' is (allegedly) kind of headed by a two-headed monster - the US and China. Now, I'm all for putting flowers in Chinese guns.. The other kuni of course has to find that (alleged) $700 billion from somewhere and and committing to something it wouldn't put pen to paper in Kyoto anyway, well - fair play!

Greed is good, even if it means bye bye glaciers, islands (Mauritius and Micronesia, nice knowing ya!) and various fauna and flora.

Finally - lyrics from a song almost 30 years ago. The more things 'change'... 'Butcher' by Killing Joke. Check the song on Youtube.

watching the decoys of all description
fruit tasting bitter and lead in the air
sparkle of colour creating diversion
butcher the womb and expect her to bear
the liars are out - they have all the assets
forests are falling there's smoke in my throat
crawling for oil they were bleeding for gold

machine over man and the mass over mind
re-assurance from face on my screen
appointment with destiny for those who will run
out of the virus immunity comes

out of the virus immunity comes
watching the decoys of all description
sparkle of colour creating diversion
crawling for oil they were bleeding for gold
the liars are out they have all the assets
fruit tasting bitter and the lead in the air
butcher the womb and expect her to bear

'They have all the assets' 'Out of the virus immunity comes'.
Tom O said…
"An alliance of hope and peace and justice must be built to oppose the axis of pollution, extinction and self destruction."

Main problem here is that said 'axis' is (allegedly) kind of headed by a two-headed monster - the US and China. Now, I'm all for putting flowers in Chinese guns.. The other kuni of course has to find that (alleged) $700 billion from somewhere and and committing to something it wouldn't put pen to paper in Kyoto anyway, well - fair play!

Greed is good, even if it means bye bye glaciers, islands (Mauritius and Micronesia, nice knowing ya!) and various fauna and flora.

Finally - lyrics from a song almost 30 years ago. The more things 'change'... 'Butcher' by Killing Joke. Check the song on Youtube.

watching the decoys of all description
fruit tasting bitter and lead in the air
sparkle of colour creating diversion
butcher the womb and expect her to bear
the liars are out - they have all the assets
forests are falling there's smoke in my throat
crawling for oil they were bleeding for gold

machine over man and the mass over mind
re-assurance from face on my screen
appointment with destiny for those who will run
out of the virus immunity comes

out of the virus immunity comes
watching the decoys of all description
sparkle of colour creating diversion
crawling for oil they were bleeding for gold
the liars are out they have all the assets
fruit tasting bitter and the lead in the air
butcher the womb and expect her to bear

'They have all the assets' 'Out of the virus immunity comes'.
Tom O said…
Ooops. Btw, there isn't just one 'villain' here. As Martin says the silence from Japan was deafening. And their deals had caveats. This isn't what was at stake here.

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