The delegates at the UN climate conference on Bali managed to agree on a roadmap for fighting climate change. The roadmap — which lacks concrete carbon reduction targets — came after the U.S. was forced to change its position:
The last-minute deal came on Saturday after the US delegation made a U-turn in a final negotiating session, where Paula Dobriansky, leader of the US delegation, and her colleague James Connaughton were the target of naked animosity. When Dobriansky announced that the US would not sign up for the Bali roadmap, boos echoed through the room. Afterward the Americans were sharply attacked by several delegations. “If you’re not willing to lead, please get out of the way,” said a US environmental activist representing Papua New Guinea.
The US was opposing a proposal by the G77 bloc, which represents developing countries, for rich nations to do more to help developing countries combat increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
However opponents of binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions, such as Japan or Russia, did not come to the defense of the US, and the Americans gave in. “We will go forward and join consensus,” said Dobriansky. This time the delegation was rewarded with a standing ovation from some participants.
Andrew Revkin has more.