Things did not come up roses for the recently held UN climate talks in Tianjin. The northern municipality just played host to a week-long summit which wrapped up this past Saturday, but it proved to be another deadlock with a tense stand-off between the US and China.
Senior Chinese climate negotiator, Su Wei, likened the US to Zhubajie, the vain pig character from a mythical Chinese classic who preens itself in a mirror. “It has no measures or actions to show for itself, and instead it criticizes China, which is actively taking measures and actions,” Su said of the United States.
America’s refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol, the only agreement that contains legally binding emission reduction targets after the Copenhagen summit failed to produce more than a non-binding accord, has been harped on by countless countries.
Jonathan Pershing of the US delegation replied that they would not agree to any deal that did not also bind China. It’s part of a large scale tug of war between developing and developed nations. Developing countries argue that richer nations need to do more because they have contributed the bulk of the world’s greenhouse gases in the past.
As countries are stuck at an impasse, the new UN climate report released shows that glaciers in western China are expected to shrink by 27.2% by 2050. It’s a shift that will wreak havoc on crop production and exacerbate droughts.
Environmentalists are still holding out hope that an agreement will be reached at the end of the year when the next round of talks take place in Cancun, Mexico. In reality, it looks like relations will have no choice but to improve by then.
Yahoo News reports:
Pershing warned the UN climate change process could itself be at risk unless the bickering countries started to make progress soon. “The consequences of not having an agreement coming out of Cancun are things we have to worry about, something to be considered seriously,” he said.”Because the process is going to be very hard-pressed to continue to have these enormous sessions… unless we can use the process to good effect.”