The catch here is that if these measures to check up on participating nations aren't legitimate, then the whole thing will be worthless. Fortunately (and a bit surprisingly, at least to me), some members of Congress are saying rather loudly that if China and India aren't on board, then we're not playing, either. So, the major result of the Copenhagen circus is...a non-binding agreement to meet again and do something about this in the future.
In case you're wondering why China snubbed Obama this morning, it's simple. They want to cheat on their emissions caps and he doesn't want to let them, so he quite reasonably insisted that they join everyone else in submitting to international emissions monitoring. The result: Histrionic Chinese claims of the "huge offense" caused by his speech followed by a walkout.
But now everyone's back at the table and the world has, at the eleventh hour, been saved. Sort of.
Leaders here concluded a climate change deal on Friday that the Obama administration called "meaningful" but that falls short of even the modest expectations for the summit meeting here…
The accord drops the expected goal of concluding a binding international treaty by the end of 2010, which leaves the implementation of its provisions uncertain. It is likely to undergo many months, perhaps years, of additional negotiation before it emerges in any internationally enforceable form…
The deal came after a dramatic moment in which Mr. Obama burst into a meeting of the Chinese, Indian and Brazilian leaders, according to senior administration officials. Chinese protocol officers noisily protested, and Mr. Obama said he did not want them negotiating in secret. The intrusion led to new talks that cemented key terms of the deal, American officials said.
Ooooh, good job. I hope it was worth all of the carbon emissions to fly all these people on their private jets to Copenhagen for that. I'm sure the Danish prostitutes appreciated the stimulus to their economy, though.
There's my two cents.