Did U.S. negotiators go against the Bush administration in Bali?
December 18, 2007
Insiders in Washington are speculating that the US delegation to the U.N. climate talks in Bali went against the wishes of the Bush Administration as negotiations drew to a close last weekend, according to SPIEGEL ONLINE.
After taking a hard line stance during the first 10 days of the conference, U.S. delegates agreed Saturday to a weak road map for further negotiations of a new climate change pact. The negotiators had been widely criticized over the course of the meeting for the American stance on binding emissions limits. Now it is unclear whether the Bush Administration approved the decision, reports SPIEGEL ONLINE.
“All other steps had been cleared by the White House,” a high-ranking official familiar with Washington’s strategy in Bali told SPIEGEL ONLINE. “But the final stretch of the conference has been very emotional. [There was] much psychological pressure. The US delegates were booed, close allies like Canada and Saudi Arabia turned against them. It’s quite possible that the leader of the US delegation, Paula Dobriansky, decided about the final concession on the spot.”
The developments could explain why White House press secretary Dana Perino on Sunday expressed dissatisfaction with the Bali compromise, stating “The United States does have serious concerns about other aspects of the Decision”.
The Bush Administration had been pushing its own climate meeting next month in Hawaii as an alternative to the U.N. process. Critics say the Hawaii conference is unlikely to set meaningful targets on emissions.