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Stern in Beijing: Day 2

June 10th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Maybe its just the gloomy Shanghai weather or maybe it’s the fact that little progress was reported in the talks between Todd Stern and Xie Zhenhua that is making me pessimistic about the possibility of a climate deal between China and the US.

As Stern’s visit to China was wrapping up, China Daily was reporting that while the parties promised to “strengthen scientific cooperation in the fight against global warming,” no “major breakthrough” was achieved.

Stern met with Xie twice on Monday, and a “source” told China Daily

“As far as I know, the two sides showed intent to start a partnership on climate change cooperation at an early stage but, so far, they have achieved only limited progress and it is mainly shown in scientific cooperation,” the source said.

We were warned not to expect much, and why rush, of course, when there are six months left to close a deal to save the planet from catastrophic climate change.  Still, while I didn’t expect white smoke from the chimney, I had hoped it wouldn’t remain so densely black.  I am so glad these US China negotiations are a continuation of secret Bush administration sponsored talks.  Imagine where we would be without those efforts!

Tags: US-China relations · carbon emissions · climate change

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Environmental Media Watch // Jun 16, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Just caught this acknowlegement of the high cost of leadership of this type:,0,2483578.story

    The Tribune story, which is unrelated to Stern’s visit to Beijing, does not even mention what the president was visiting Chicago for at the cost of 236,000 in taxpayer dollars. Nor does it mention the environmental impact of “must haves” such as Air Force One visits or — to the point here — diplomats that fly around and sit for photos such as that of Stern and his counterpart.

    Perhaps, given the slow pace and unresolvedness of talks such as these, coming from Bonn and other parts, where diplomats convene with their entourages, we might all consider conducting them in a different manner.

    Who is helped by the photos and the trips?

    How often are the environmental effects of this type of diplomacy (compounded for all the countries and issues) acknowledged in the press?

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