The US threatened to derail a deal on global climate change today in a public showdown with China by expressing deep opposition to the existing Kyoto protocol. The US team also urged other rich countries to join it in setting up a new legal agreement which would, unlike Kyoto, force all countries to reduce emissions.Oxfam's representative at the talks claims this tactic marks 'a detour" from the "road map" agreed to at the Bali Climate Change Talks.
In a further development, the EU sided strongly with the US in seeking a new agreement, but said that it hoped the best elements of Kyoto could be kept. China and many developing countries immediately hit back stating that the protocol, the world's only legally binding commitment to get countries to reduce emissions, was "not negotiable".
According to the Guardian report, the US negotiator is boasting about an "80 billion green economic stimulus package." That kind of talk sounds really disingenuous -- it's spin to my ears. I thought the point of the talks was to discuss actual targets and actual achievements, not boast about domestic spending programs which may or may not produce the intended results. Personally, I think taxes are the only way to ensure the market is behind green policies, not green pork (Green eggs and ham?).
Meanwhile, on Capital Hill the Democrats have already given away 85% of pollution permits in the propsed US cap and trade bill to the country's biggest polluters.