Last year, this blog spent so much time discussing the climate conference in Copenhagen, readers thought Down To Earth was in Denmark. Fast forward a year later and the end result didn’t net anything more than talk. But now, secret diplomatic cables released by the omnipotent journalist known as WikiLeaks revealed the U.S. special climate change envoy was going to withhold funds to countries like Ecuador and Bolivia, when they refused to sign on to the Copenhagen Accord and dug some dirt on nations opposed to their way of tackling global warming.
Amy Goodman interviews Guardian Environment Editor John Vidal on this fascinating story at Democracy Now. After the jump is an excerpt.
AMY GOODMAN: You refer to the terrible night in Copenhagen. Explain exactly what you meant, what went down, and what was revealed in the WikiLeaks documents.
JOHN VIDAL: Copenhagen was just a complete nightmare, a diplomatic meltdown, I think is the fairest way to say it, where you had countries accusing each other of genocide. You had a total failure of the diplomatic process, that text which was meant to enhance everybody and bring them together in fact did the absolute opposite, and it shattered the confidence and the trust between different countries. And WikiLeaks just shows us, from that one point of view of the American cables, that—but this was happening in many, many other countries. It wasn’t just America. You know, if we could get hold of the British equivalent of WikiLeaks or the French or the Germans or the Canadians or whatever, we would see similar things, I’m quite sure. This is international diplomacy, which is a very, very dirty business.
AMY GOODMAN: What about the money that was offered to countries, the tens of millions of dollars that we see in the WikiLeaks documents, for example, offered to places like Maldives, the country that was fierce, their representatives, about getting some kind of global warming deal at Copenhagen, and then signed on to the accord?
JOHN VIDAL: I mean, that’s how these meetings work. I mean, frankly, it goes to the line, in the end, there’s this horse trading thing where I’ll give you money if you side with me. This is how—this is how the world works. I mean, we’re seeing it very clearly. It is not at all amiable negotiation. People are using every tactic under the book, including blackmail, including, you know, finance. They’re using muscle. They’re threatening. And that’s what happens in the last hours of these conferences. And we’ll it again, similar, this time. It won’t be quite as bad, because there’s not so much at stake at this particular meeting. But when it goes forward next year to Durban, we will see exactly the same stuff, and even in spades.