Ambush at COP21

The Kyoto Protocol recognized two groups: developed and developing countries. The latter group included 77 countries and China, which, at the time was emerging from decades of communism. However, China is still the influential member of that group over 20 years later, even though China is now the largest emitter of CO2 in the world.

Last year the Presidents of the US and China recognized the need for joint leadership on the issue of global warming. Undermining that joint leasership will seriously prejudice a final and successful accord.

Is China levering its influence within the “Group 77 plus China” to gain a tactical advantage over “developed” countries. The spokesperson for that Group continues to attack “developed countries”, a word that in the language of COP does not include China.

A reporter for a French Newspaper referred to this tactic as an ambush by “emerging” countries. His article quoted a source within the Group as saying in effect: How can I criticize China that has such a large investment (billions) in my country?

Brazil is an emerging country within the Group that is a large emitter. India is yet another emerging country with a huge population that lives in extreme poverty. India intends to improve its standard of living at the cost of a signifiant increase in its emissions.

These realities suggest that the catalogue of developping countries must be reviewed or confined to its original intent.

There was a brief moment of recognition that any sustained attack on developed countries will undermine the possibility of attaining an accord that is needed to check global warming.

We will soon know if common sense prevails and encourages concessions in the final stage of negotiations!

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