I Saw China Wreck the Copenhagen Talks

The West's getting the blame, but Beijing's the real villain here
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2009 9:51 AM CST
I Saw China Wreck the Copenhagen Talks
Demonstrators hold a picture of U.S. President Barack Obama and signs during a demonstration outside the Bella Center, the venue of the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Dec. 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Barack Obama is getting the blame for the limp Copenhagen deal, but Mark Lynas knows it was China that really scuttled it—because he watched it happen. Sitting in on the closed-door meetings, the Guardian writer “saw Obama fighting desperately to salvage a deal, and the Chinese delegate saying ‘no,’ over and over again.” China sent a second-tier official to sit opposite the world’s most powerful leaders, forcing them to pause, frequently, while he called his superiors.

It was China that insisted that the industrialized nations take their agreed on emission cuts out of the deal. “Why can’t we even mention our own targets?” demanded Angela Merkel, throwing up her hands in disgust; Kevin Rudd banged his microphone in annoyance. It was all a ploy to stick Obama with any and all blame. This accomplished, China, sometimes backed by India, stripped the deal of every important number. (More China stories.)

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