Obama vs. IPCC

February 3, 2009 |

President Barack Obama has called for a global coalition on climate change mitigation:

To protect our climate and our collective security, we must call together a truly global coalition. I've made it clear that we will act, but so too must the world. That's how we will deny leverage to dictators and dollars to terrorists. And that's how we will ensure that nations like China and India are doing their part, just as we are now willing to do ours.

President Obama's call for nation's like "China and India" to "do their part" is sufficiently ambiguous to allow for some diplomatic interpretations, however, Obama's remarks probably best interpreted as a continuation of the long-standing US position on the inclusion of developing countries in any international mitigation agreement.

By contrast, Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC, shows no such nuance in his latest comments on the politics of climate change, arguing that of India and other developing countries should be exempt from any international agreement on emissions:

"The negotiations are going on for the conference of parties at the Copenhagen where we will have a multilateral worldwide agreement, let's see what the implications of that would be," Pachauri, who is Chairman of UN's Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said on the sidelines of fifth convocation of DAIICT.

"Of course, the developing countries will be exempted from any such restrictions but the developed countries will certainly have to cut down on emission," Pachauri said, adding, "some strict regulations are going to be there."

I don't think that Pachauri's comments will make the Copenhagen negotiations any easier.