Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Secret US-China Talks on Climate Change

This is exciting news from the Guardian about US-China talks on what they are calling "secret talks" on a bilateral climate change agreement.

Two things that strike me about this article:

1. These talks were initiated during the Bush Administration in 2007. I contend that, by the last two years of the administration, there were some very helpful policied being put together on climate change, incuding the Asia-Pacific Partnership, the Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee program, the Major Economies Meetings, and apparently, these meetings. Unfortunately, the denials and hesitations of the previous 6 years had set the storyline, and no one was ready to believe that they could do any good on this issue. Also, these programs were very much led by Congress, not the Administration.

2. Why is this news being broken by a British newspaper? I wonder if the Obama administration had been able to convince American papers to keep a lid on it, or if the Guardian simply scooped the Washington Post and the New York Times? The Chinese can sometimes be difficult in negotiations, and I hope that this publicity doesn't undercut the good work that has been done up to now.

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