Drama And Intrigue In Bali

BaliDobrinsky

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As an addendum to last night's John Bolton post criticizing Al Gore, we present a bit of drama from Bali at the UN conference on climate change. An initial proposal for industrialized nations to supply developing countries with clean technologies was rejected by the United States. This lead to the drama which followed:

This Mr de Boer, in tears after two nights without sleep, later denied, to supportive applause.

Then Mr Witoelar called for another break in which he summoned the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and the Indonesian President Yudhoyono, to read the riot act to delegates and break the deadlock.

Mr Yudhoyono urged the conference not to allow "the planet to crumble because we can't find the right wording."

Mr Ban said he was "disappointed at the lack of progress" and pointed out the conference was already due to have ended five hours earlier. This was at 1.20 pm local time.

The conference reconvened. South Africa made an emotional appeal for the Americans to reconsider their statement – and was supported by delegation after delegation from the developing world while Miss Dobriansky and James Connaughton, President Bush's climate change adviser, talked increasingly animatedly off-microphone.

The killer blow came from the Harvard-educated representative of Papua New Guinea, Kevin Conrad, who used Mr Connaughton's diplomatic gaffe of earlier in the week to humiliate the Americans.

Mr Connaughton had said: "We will lead. We will continue to lead but leadership also requires others to fall in line and follow." Mr Conrad said, to applause: "If you are not willing to lead, then get out of the way."

Miss Dobriansky finally pressed her button to speak again and said: "We will go forward and join the consensus."

After cheers and diplomatic congratulations, the president of the conference assessed that "we are very, very close", then banged his gavel down on India's proposal to mark that a consensus had been achieved.

Despite all these theatrics, most environmentalists have criticized the summit for failing to agree to firm targets for reducing emissions.


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