A top US climate negotiator has said he hopes to see the United Nations sidelined at future talks on global warming. On Wednesday, US Deputy Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing said the scale of the climate talks called for a rethinking of the UN’s role. Pershing cited the objections of the ALBA bloc, which he said had blocked an agreement in Copenhagen.
“Who were they? Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba. These are countries that are part of the ALBA group, a group that sees this process not so much as a solution to climate change, but in fact as a mechanism to redistribute global wealth. And they don’t like the fact that this did not do that. It didn’t do that, and they objected to that fact. Well, surprise, surprise, surprise, the rest of the world doesn’t want to do it that way. But they couldn’t get an agreement, because this group, this narrow group, was blocking it.”
Pershing says future talks should center around the world’s largest polluters instead of trying to go through the UN process.
He said, “It is…impossible to imagine a negotiation of enormous complexity where you have a table of 192 countries involved in all the detail.”
Katherine Goldstein for Huffington Post interviewed Naomi Klein and Klein's assessment of the U.S. involvement is grim:
The US negotiators have squandered a tremendous amount of goodwill. Tremendous ... the Democrats have squandered so many opportunities. We've seen these huge outpourings of support of the US -- we saw it after 9/11 and we saw it when Obama was elected. So many were so happy about the US re-engaging in the climate process. But I think it has done way more harm than good. It's given countries the opportunities to weaken the targets they are putting on the table, like Japan. The US has lowered the bar and set goals so low, it's been destructive. I think it would be better if the US had continued to stay out of it. I don't see any point in US politicians coming here.
When chief negotiator Jonathan Pershing offers for the US to pay $1.5 billion to help with climate change and says, "the US only has so much largesse," Americans have no idea [how insulting this is to the rest of the world.] US emits so much and has caused this problem. This is NOT about charity. This is about moral responsibility.