The Copenhagen conference on climate change, held amid record low freezing temperatures that are blanketing Europe, was shattered by a walkout by the G-77 nations, the bloc of "developing" countries that spans from China to Chad. Their demand? More "democracy and transparency" in the negotiations! They also want massive American and European aid under the guise of helping them adjust to climate change.
Dictators from Beijing to Africa are united in their demand for more "democracy" at the conference and are deeply disturbed that Copenhagen may not turn out to be the payday for which they had all hoped.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton has called the climate change issue, a "pretext for a massive redistribution of wealth from the developed nations to the less developed ones." That's what the African and Asian dictators are hoping for.
Like anti-poverty storefronts in Harlem that change to drug rehab projects and then morph into stimulus programs, the less developed nations are now hanging out the climate change sign in hopes of getting aid.
The fact is that almost all the increase in greenhouse gases over the next two decades is going to come from developing countries, principally China and India. As noted in an earlier column, the United States is doing quite well, without a new treaty and without cap and trade, on lowering its emissions to the level demanded by the Kyoto Agreement and the goals set by President Obama. It is about halfway toward each.
But the developing countries are hoping to make a killing in Copenhagen, getting a treaty that does not bind them to specific enforceable goals (and no inspections) while giving them money to accomplish the climate change goals. Money without responsibility suits them fine.
Just as climate change is being hijacked in developed countries by socialists and liberals who want to regulate business and utilities, so it is being exploited by less developed countries as a pretext for more foreign aid.
China, in particular, won't allow any international monitoring of its compliance with the climate change goals. This refusal is giving Democratic trade protectionists the cover they need to raise tariff barriers on imports from abroad. Yet again, climate change is being hijacked by partisans of a particular persuasion — protectionists — to suit their goals.
Meanwhile, most voters in the U.S. are far from convinced that climate change is happening as a result of human activity and there is no broad consensus behind any of the regulatory changes being pushed in Copenhagen. That's the surprise awaiting Obama when he returns, treaty in hand.
© Dick Morris & Eileen McGann