With Christmas upon us, the dust has settled on Copenhagen. And as Prospect editor David Goodhart posted yesterday, the settled view is becoming: blame China. Mark Lynas wrote an especially coruscating piece about it in the Guardian yesterday—a piece with which their editor agreed so strongly that he used his twitter guise of @alanrushbridger to say yesterday “if you read one piece on Copenhagen, read this.”
But in all this we are losing track of what actually happened, in which impact of the Chinese was more muddled and complex than the deliberate attack now gaining popularity. So Lets go back to Copenhagen to try and get it right.
With the talks about to veer into complete breakdown the US president hurried towards Air Force One. Like a sulky husband rushing to leave his awkward in-laws he explained he would love to stay but couldn’t – the weather demanded he go now. The deal he left behind was a conjuring trick of such audacity that it threw the slow thinking delegates and their press counterparts into a state of befuddled confusion.
To announce the accord reached between the US, Brazil, India, China and South Africa as a “deal” at the talks, is accurate. It was not, however, the deal most thought they had come to negotiate. So it was with some trepidation that the hapless Danish premier, Mr Rasmussen, stumbled to the stage.
“We have worked very hard on this agreement”, he told a group of nations who had been left kicking their heels in the cold of the Danish winter. Then, he too, tried to flee, only to be called back. Up stood the Venezuelan delegate-blood dripping from the crosses cut into her hands in a show of incomprehensible defiance. The group who then objected?Venezuela, Bolivia, Sudan, Nicaragua, Pakistan?have been called the awkward squad, but their objections were met with cheers
But those same opponents have now been branded the stooges of China – the new villains of Copenhagen. “We aren’t getting our message across, we don’t understand how to communicate with the western press”, said the co-ordinator of the Chinese youth delegation on a late subway home. She had been asked…