Did the US do an about-face to suddenly support moving forward on climate change talks? There are plenty of ways to be pessimistic about this one, but hey it's Christmas. I say we just take it as good news for now.
Paula Dobriansky, leader of the US delegation, and her colleague James Connaughton found themselves the targets of naked animosity. When Dobriansky announced that the US would not sign up for the Bali roadmap, boos echoed through the room. The Americans were sharply attacked by several delegations. "If you're not willing to lead, please get out of the way," said a US environmental activist representing Papua New Guinea.
Other opponents of binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as Japan or Russia, failed to come to the US delegation's defense. Left isolated, the American delegation gave in and agreed to the roadmap. "We will go forward and join consensus," said Dobriansky. This time the delegation was rewarded with a standing ovation from some participants.