"COPENHAGEN -- A plan to protect the world's biologically rich tropical forests by paying poor nations to protect them was shelved Saturday after world leaders failed to agree on a binding deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Burning trees to clear land for plantations or cattle ranches and logging forests for wood is blamed for about 20 percent of the world's emissions. That's as much carbon dioxide as all the world's cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships combined." The Associated Press had the story Dec. 19, 2009.
Here is the transcript of President Obama's Dec. 18, 2009, press conference, after meetings held with leaders from China, India, Brazil, and South Africa. The text was released by the White House and published in the New York Times Dec. 18, 2009.
"COPENHAGEN -- After two weeks of delays, theatrics and last-minute deal-making, the United Nations climate change talks concluded here early Saturday morning with a grudging agreement by the participants to 'take note' of a pact shaped by five major nations. The final accord, a 12-paragraph document, was a statement of intention, not a binding pledge to begin taking action on global warming -- a compromise seen to represent a flawed but essential step forward.
But many delegates of the 193 countries that had gathered here left Copenhagen in a sour mood, disappointed that the pact lacked so many elements they considered crucial, including firm targets for mid- or long-term reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and a deadline for concluding a binding treaty next year." Andrew C. Revkin and John M. Broder report for the New York Times December 19, 2009, with Helene Cooper, Elisabeth Rosenthal, Tom Zeller Jr., and James Kanter.
"COPENHAGEN -- After an all-night session that nearly saw the U.N. Climate Change Conference collapse with no deal at all, delegates Dec. 19 finally agreed to “note” a version of the 11th-hour agreement brokered, in part, by U.S. President Obama. The decision by the plenary stops short of a formal approval, a reflection of the deep disappointment in the final text on the part of developing countries, but leaves the door open for more talks next year. Delegates told BNA that the unusual end to the negotiations increased the importance of the still-to-be-determined set of meetings in 2010, but they expressed doubts about whether the same degree of political will and worldwide attention—which failed to finalize an ambitious agreement in Copenhagen—can be summoned again in the coming months." Eric J. Lyman reports for World Climate Change Report Dec. 19, 2009. Free registration required.
"COPENHAGEN -- Around dawn, managers of climate talks here sought to get final approval of the Copenhagen Accord, a climate agreement shaped by the United States and four partners in the final days of climate talks. They faced blistering opposition from representatives of half a dozen countries, some banging their desks and one, from Venezuela, bloodying her hand while trying to be recognized. In the end, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon directly intervened, sending aides to round up the aggrieved delegations and meeting with them privately for an hour. The public scene in the plenary, leading up to the private meeting and the consensus to 'take note' of the accord, is recorded in the conference minutes below, which provide a window on the 'wild roller coaster ride' described by Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary General for Policy and Planning." Andrew C. Revkin publishes the raw notes on Dot Earth Dec. 19, 2009.
"After intense overnight wrangling, delegates from 192 countries on Saturday passed a motion simply "noting" a loose deal aimed at limiting temperature rises to less than 2C, which was agreed by the US and four other large-scale polluting nations. However, critics warned the 'Copenhagen Accord', the result of two weeks of negotiations in the Danish capital, was full of holes and lacked a timetable – and environment agencies branded it toothless and a failure. One African delegation likened the deal to the Holocaust." Patrick Hennessy, Louise Gray, and Philip Sherwell report for the London Telegraph Dec. 19, 2009.
Most treaties have a text and photo op. There was no photo op ... in fact it was hard to find much objective evidence that anyone really supported the "deal," including the five nations reported to have reached it. We will bring you the text as soon as we have it. But we don't have one. The Washington Post published a late-in-the-day negotiating text, which may or may not bear some resemblance to what the nations agreed on. If they did in fact agree. When we find an authoritative statement from a single nation saying that it has clearly and unequivocally agreed to the deal (which we are unable to bring you the text of) we will bring you that statement.