NEVER MIND. The Guardian took some liberties with its reporting, and the talks were neither so "secret" (just "off the record") nor monumental as the article made them out to be. Aargh, the sensationalizing press! It was 1 a.m. and I was too eager to hear optimistic news (I guess skepticism wanes in the early morning hours), so I just posted the links and went to bed. I guess I should have waited until the blogosphere and news agencies weighed in.
Thanks for the tip-off, Bobby!
OLD (PREMATURE) POST
Huge news on the environmental front! According to the
From the source:
• Negotiations began in final months of Bush administration
• Obama could seal accord on cutting emissions by autumn
Key points from the article:
- The first communications took place in autumn 2007 and were initiated by the Chinese. “Xie Zhenhua, the vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's central economic planning body, made the first move by expressing interest in a co-operative effort on carbon capture and storage and other technologies with the
- “The two sides began discussing ways to break through the impasse, including the possibility that
would agree to voluntary -- but verifiable -- reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. China has rejected the possibility of cuts” which “it sees as a risk to its continued economic growth, deemed essential to lift millions out of poverty and advance national status.” China
- During the second trip to
by the Americans, Xie suggested a memorandum of understanding between the two countries on joint action on climate change. William Chandler [of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace] and Jon Holdren [now Obama’s chief science advisor] drew up a list of three points including: China
2. Co-operating on new technology including carbon capture and storage and fuel efficiency for cars.
3. The US and
- By the time Xie visited the
in March, the state department's new climate change envoy, Todd Stern, and his deputy, Jonathan Pershing, were also involved in the dialogue. But the trip by Xie did not produce the hoped-for agreement. Those involved agree it was premature to expect the Obama Administration to enter into a formal agreement so soon in its tenure.” But they “believe the effort will pay off in a more comprehensive deal between the two governments.” US