Tom Hilde is a professor at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland. He attended the Copenhagen Summit as a delegate with the Heinrich Böll Foundation and covered the conference for the Center for American Progress and Climate Progress. UN Dispatch caught up with him in early January.
The UN climate summit in Copenhagen closed with a face-saving deal, but everyone is going home disappointed.
A new draft negotiating text is circulating in Copenhagen. With less than four days left, the negotiators are still far apart on key issues including emissions targets and climate aid to developing nations. China and the U.S. remain locked in a dispute over international monitoring of emissions. China offered to cut its emissions, but it is refusing any kind of international monitoring to verify its cooperation.
Emotions are running high inside and outside the Bella Center in Copenhagen as the UN climate summit enters its second week.
When assessing the progress of the climate negotiations in Copenhagen, remember: these talks are a game of geopolitical chicken with 192 players. All sides agree that emissions must be slashed and no country or region wants to sacrifice more than it has to. Rifts have emerged this week as various interest groups stake out their negotiating positions and size up the opposition.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is reasserting control over the negotiations after a leaked document raised what he called "trust issues" between developed and developing countries. The UN's top climate diplomat says the document is just one informal proposal and he real work will be done at the negotiating table.