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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Copenhagen Climate Conference

Published: Wed 9 Dec 2009 09:53 AM
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FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7132
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 003286
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TAGS: PREL ECON SENV KGHG KMDR OPRC CH
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: COPENHAGEN CLIMATE CONFERENCE
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Editorial Quotes
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COPENHAGEN CLIMATE CONFERENCE
a. "Climate negotiations are stuck in a 'prisoner's dilemma'"
The official Communist Party international news publication Global
Times (Huanqiu Shibao)(pg 14): "The ongoing Copenhagen climate
conference is stuck in a prisoner's dilemma: the countries attending
the conference want to achieve the best results, but they are not
sure what the others will do. They want to cooperate, but are
equally likely to betray each other. Once the emissions reduction
targets are set, some countries' collection of a carbon tax will be
legitimatized. For developing countries with an export-oriented
economic model that are unable to reach the environmental standards
set by developed countries, it is equivalent to giving away their
economic development rights. Many issues today affect more than one
country or region. The deteriorating environment, which will have
consequences for the whole of mankind, should be dealt with on the
basis of cooperation. Only when developed countries discard their
selfish and egoistical ways of thinking can all countries join hands
to escape from the prisoner's dilemma."
b. "Prelude has been opened; smoke has begun to dissipate"
Guangdong 21st Century Publishing Company Ltd.'s business newspaper
21st Century Business Herald (21Shiji Jingji Baodao)(12/09)(pg 3):
"China has made a significant contribution to the climate change
negotiations by putting forward its own emissions reduction targets
despite the fact that it still faces poverty and economic
development issues. The question of maintaining the Kyoto Protocol
hinges on whether or not the principle of 'common but differentiated
responsibilities' will be adhered to, which is the red line for
developing countries. The chief U.S. climate change negotiator
clearly stated that the conference will only reach a political
agreement. Comparatively, Xie Zhenhua, the Deputy Director of the
China National Development and Reform Commission, stressed that a
'fair, just and legally binding' climate change agreement should be
the goal. Although the United States needs to get Congress'
approval to improve its emissions reduction targets, the key is
whether or not the U.S. leadership has the political will."
c. "Wrestling in Copenhagen: conspiracy and the fate of mankind"
The Shanghai-based Shanghai Media Group (SMG) publication, China
Business News (Diyi Caijing)(12/09)(pg A4): "The focus of the
Copenhagen conference has been intentionally shifted towards the
U.S. and China by EU member countries, and thus the U.S. is helping
them achieve their agenda by attempting to pressure China. Jiang
Kejun, the Director of the Energy Systems Laboratory at the National
Development and Reform Commission's Energy Research Institute, said
that emissions reductions must be accompanied by technological
support. The United States believes that by 2020 its emissions
reduction technology will have improved significantly, but how this
is determined needs to be clear and convincing. However, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's announcement that five kinds of
gas emissions are harmful to human health is good news and has paved
the way for the EPA to oversee carbon emissions in the future. This
announcement is also seen as exhibiting the maximum amount of
political sincerity on the part of the Obama administration, since
it enables Obama to seek administrative measures to control
emissions, bypassing Congressional legislation. Xie Zhenhua, the
Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission,
said it is irrational to request China to take more responsibility
for emissions reductions when China is still in the process of
industrialization and has a per capita GDP of only $3,000."
d. "The United States may become the obstacle to agreement [on
climate change]"
The Beijing-based newspaper sponsored by official intellectual
publication Guangming Daily and Guangdong Provincial official
publication Nanfang Daily The Beijing News (Xin Jing Bao)(12/09)(pg
A26): "At the Copenhagen climate conference, developing and
developed countries are in disagreement with each other over
emissions reduction goals and funding, and over expectations about
the result of the conference. When asked how much money they can
provide, developed countries all answer with one phrase: 'the
appropriate amount.' China urges developed countries to stop
writing empty checks. The major disputes also focus on whether or
not developing countries need to make emissions reduction promises
that are 'measurable, reportable and verifiable.' China clearly
stated its stance with regards to a firm implementation of the Bali
Roadmap. When the U.S. climate change representative answered
questions at the press conference, many got the impression that the
United States is hoping to downgrade the agreement from a 'legally
binding treaty' to a 'political statement.' It seems that the
United States might become the biggest obstacle to the Copenhagen
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treaty."
HUNTSMAN
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