Without an eye-catching climate accord out of Copenhagen, what really grabbed the media spotlight were the behind-the-scenes negotiations and back-door politicking. And at the center of it all was China.
Two very different narratives emerged concerning China’s participation in the climate negotiations: savior versus spoiler. In the savior version–promulgated not surprisingly primarily by the Chinese media–Premier Wen through his leadership and perseverance not only brought hope to dispirited international negotiators but also played the central role in forging consensus at several critical junctures in the negotiations. In the spoiler version–put forward by some delegates from the G-77 and the developed countries–China refused critical compromises on issues such as global 2050 targets and measurement, reporting, and verification, making a meaningful deal impossible. Read more »