After Bali: Time for a Different Kind of Climate Politics
January 13, 2008, By Ian Angus
“We are ending up with something so watered down there was no need for 12,000 people to gather here in Bali to have a watered-down text. We could have done that by email.” —Dr. Angus Friday, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States
In a narrow and formal sense, last month’s Climate Change conference in Bali achieved its objectives. The Kyoto Protocol is due to expire in 2012: the Bali gathering’s purpose was to adopt a roadmap for negotiating a new treaty — and that was done. A new roadmap, called the Bali Action Plan, was adopted unanimously at an overtime session, after the USA withdrew its objections.
As the New York Times pointed out, the dramatic U.S. capitulation really didn’t amount to much: “From the United States the delegates got nothing, except a promise to participate in the forthcoming negotiations.”