Since I vented last night about the absurd "compromise" reached at the Bali climate change conference, it's only fair to give equal time to a more considered opinion. Given the Bush administration's participation, says John Quiggin, firm CO2 targets were just never in the cards:
But on just about every other score, the outcome has been better than anyone could reasonably have expected, including:
- Agreement in principle on a 2050 target of halving emissions
- Agreement to negotiate a binding deal in 2009, when Bush will be gone, and short-term targets back on the table
- Agreement to provide assistance to developing countries for both mitigation and adaptation
- Agreement by China to pursue emissions-cutting actions that are measurable, reportable and verifiable.
Other winners from Bali: Al Gore and new Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd. And the losers? "They know who they are."