Copenhagen: The First Week

David Roberts has a good short summary of the first week of the Copenhagen talks (even shorter summary: lots of sound and fury signifying nothing much) and says this is the only really big story to emerge so far:

The one significant new feature of this treaty round is the emergence of a distinct voice for small island nations and the poorest states—the folks for whom climate change is an existential, not just economic, problem. Inside the talks, this manifested in the tiny island state of Tuvalu’s call for a new, post-Kyoto treaty that would require mandatory reductions not only from rich countries but from the biggest and fastest-growing developing nations, including China and India. It would also set 1.5 degrees C as the target for limiting the rise in global temperature, rather than the 2 C agreed upon in previous talks (and still maintained by big emitters). This amounts to the first big public eruption of the simmering tensions between major developing countries and their smaller/poorer brethren. Whereas China and India want to shelter their economic development above all else, Tuvalu, well, might go under water soon.

Read the whole thing.


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