Obama’s Secret Climate Pact (2)

Richard Wolffe, The Daily Beast reports that there is a reason China and the White House have announced they will go to Copenhagen with plans for emissions reduction. White House officials have now disclosed that while in China and in his visit with India’s prime minister, Obama has been working quiet diplomacy:

“Beyond the photo ops and press statements, Obama was pushing President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the kind of climate deals that eluded him at the G8 summit in Italy in the summer – and have eluded international negotiators for the last decade. China and India have played central roles in blocking past agreements, alongside the US, in a seemingly intractable dispute between fast-developing economies and the older, wealthier polluters….

“Now Obama is at the point where he feels on the verge of a breakthrough, based on the kind of talks that don’t get covered by reporters obsessing about state dinners. “He had extensive conversations with President Hu specifically on climate and conversations with the prime minister of India,” said one senior White House aide. “So he has been building momentum for a political agreement to be brokered at Copenhagen.”…

“That was the backdrop for Wednesday’s White House announcement of specific targets to reduce emissions “in the range of 17% below 2005 levels in 2020.” The next day, on Thanksgiving, China announced its own bargaining position to slow the growth of carbon emissions by 2020. Using a different standard from the US – measuring carbon intensity (relative to its own economic growth), China is offering a 40 to 45% cut below 2005 levels….

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