Just to remind you, my prediction was that Bali was going to be a waste of time. But I’m open-minded, and happy to be persuaded otherwise. I rather suspect that any benefits are going to be hard-to-analyse-or-see, though possibly no less real for all that.
Its time to look through the usual suspects for their views. And then I’ll put up my initial reaction. I’m slightly heartened to hear Bush condemning the deal, which suggests it might be worth something.
Eli has a fine example of an Anti-Bali rant, but doesn’t venture his own opinion; perhaps pondering in his burrow over a carrot or two.
David Appell unequivocally regards Bali as a failure.
None of my other usual suspects have commented so far. Come on, wimps. I suppose this means I’ll have to actually read the agreement myself. Or maybe not, I never read Kyoto.
[Update: mt calls is a non-failure -W]
Time asks Who Won and Lost at Bali and says In the end, the U.S.’s total isolation was too much for even it to bear. “We’ve listened very closely to many of our colleagues here during these two weeks, but especially to what has been said in this hall today,” said lead American negotiator Paula Dobiansky. “We will go forward and join consensus.” Boos turned to cheers, and the deal was essentially sealed. Thats what I heard from R4 on the Beeb. I thought it sounded rather puzzling – the idea that the poor dear US negotiations felt so lonely they just had to give in is not plausible. Indeed if they went past their allowable positions they would just get repudiated anyway. The Bali roadmap contains no specific commitments or figures on the emissions reductions that developed countries will need to take, beyond language that “deep cuts” will be needed. Earlier in the week the EU fought hard to include a specific target of 25 to 40% cuts for developed nations by 2020, and a need to halve global emissions — two figures cited by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest assessment of global warming science. Neither made it into the final text, thanks largely to determined opposition from the U.S., although a footnote points to the IPCC report. Hmm, that sounds rather more likely; it also sounds like success for the US and failure for the climate to me (should I put in a bit here pointing out that by the “US” I mean “the Bush administration”; they are the people deciding what happens, after all. The Germans sound happy, in what appears to be a common European-govt-type take.
The UN says “delegates have agreed on both the agenda for the negotiations and a 2009 deadline” to which I say hmpf, so what: translated, that means another 2 years of junketing, what delegate would vote against that? “The text does not specify or mandate emissions targets, but it does say that deep cuts in emissions will be needed” – but “deep cuts” is an obviously meaningless phrase.
Oxfam don’t call it success or failure, but make the obvious point that the US etc are going to respond to what their citizens demand.
I find myself a little dismayed that the best analysis I’ve found so far comes from NewsBusters, who combat liberal media bias. Oh dear.
One minor snippet from the UNFCCC press release is that Parties agreed to recognize that the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the most comprehensive and authoritative assessment of climate change to date. [read more]. Presumably that includes the US, and if true would represent quite a shift. For which reason I doubt its true, or if it is, that they’ve thought it through.
And finally we get down to the Bali (In)Action Plan. And it says… well, read it yourself: its not long and mostly blah. I’m sure every word was fought over fiercely, but the end result looks largely null to me. Anyone who likes it is invited to pick out the bit that means something.
The Famous Footnote occurs thus: Recognizing that deep cuts in global emissions will be required to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention and emphasizing the urgency1 to address climate change, where (1) is “Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Technical Summary, pages 39 and 90, and Chapter 13, page 776.” because this cuts straight to one of the things I keep banging on about, to everyoes irritation: what do things like “urgent” mean, how do we balance costs etc, and what does the actual science tell us about urgency? WGI, of course, is silent on the issue.
OK, so off to the AR4 WGIII we go, not a place I’m familiar with. p39? Don’t understand the relevance. p90? Ummmm… Ch13 p776? Errrm. Well, perhaps one of my readers will be kind enough to point out the bit there justifying urgency.
OK, I’ve seen enough for now: initial reaction is: prediction: confirmed; junketeers: happy; result: waste of time.