The cartoon on page 10 of the economist represents my view perfectly.
Let's agree to agree [Economist]
EXPECTATIONS for the Copenhagen climate conference, to be held next month in the Danish capital, rise and fall. On November 15th, as Barack Obama toured Asia, he and the Danish prime minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, agreed that no agreement on a new treaty would be reached at the conference. Instead, they said that the best that can now be expected is a “political” deal out of the Copenhagen meeting, which begins on December 7th.
The negotiations leading up to Copenhagen have been something of a fiasco. But this is not, as some would have it, wholly the fault of balky American senators who have refused to pass a cap-and-trade bill fast enough. It is true that a lot of the blame does indeed belong on Capitol Hill; the Senate has taken its time mulling over its version of a climate-change bill, not helped by the protracted debate over health care. John Kerry, one of the Senate’s cap-and-trade champions, now says only that he hopes the bill will make it to the floor in the spring.
But this is far from the only reason that a full, binding deal at Copenhagen had to be scratched. Each round of successive negotiations leading up to the conference lengthened, rather than shortened, the list of matters up for debate. The negotiating text is a snarl of bracketed material that the parties cannot agree on. There is now no hope of getting legally binding targets for emissions-reductions—a “son of Kyoto” treaty that would extend plans to cut greenhouse-gas emissions when the targets laid out in the Kyoto protocol end in 2012.