subscribe
view counter

Donate to SolveClimate News

Once a day
Get Articles by e-mail:

Also
Get Today's Climate by e-mail:

Climate Science Links

U.S. Government

International

Academic, Non-Governmental

Wikileaks: How U.S. Manipulated Climate Accord

Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen Accord

by Damian Carrington,

Dec 3, 2010

Hidden behind the save-the-world rhetoric of the global climate change negotiations lies the mucky realpolitik: money and threats buy political support; spying and cyberwarfare are used to seek out leverage.

The US diplomatic cables reveal how the US seeks dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming; how financial and other aid is used by countries to gain political backing; how distrust, broken promises and creative accounting dog negotiations; and how the US mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the controversial "Copenhagen accord", the unofficial document that emerged from the ruins of the Copenhagen climate change summit in 2009.

Negotiating a climate treaty is a high-stakes game, not just because of the danger warming poses to civilization but also because re-engineering the global economy to a low-carbon model will see the flow of billions of dollars redirected.

Seeking negotiating chips, the US state department sent a secret cable on 31 July 2009 seeking human intelligence from UN diplomats across a range of issues, including climate change. The . As well as countries' negotiating positions for Copenhagen, and deals between nations.

But intelligence gathering was not just one way. On 19 June 2009, the state department sent a cable detailing a , Todd Stern, while talks with China on emissions took place in Beijing. Five people received emails, personalized to look as though they came from the . An attached file contained malicious code that would give complete control of the recipient's computer to a hacker. While the attack was unsuccessful, the department's cyber threat analysis division noted: "It is probable intrusion attempts such as this will persist."

The Beijing talks failed to lead to a global deal at Copenhagen. But the US, the world's biggest historical polluter and long isolated as a climate pariah, had something to cling to. The Copenhagen Accord, hammered out in the dying hours but not adopted into the UN process, offered to solve many of the US's problems.

The accord turns the UN's top-down, unanimous approach upside down, with each nation choosing palatable targets for greenhouse gas cuts. It presents a far easier way to bind in China and other rapidly growing countries than the UN process. But the accord cannot guarantee the global greenhouse gas cuts needed to avoid dangerous warming. Furthermore, it threatens to circumvent the UN's negotiations on extending the Kyoto protocol, in which rich nations have binding obligations. Those objections have led many countries – particularly the poorest and most vulnerable – to vehemently oppose the accord.

Getting as many countries as possible to associate themselves with the accord strongly served US interests, by boosting the likelihood it would be officially adopted. A diplomatic offensive was launched. Diplomatic cables flew thick and fast between the end of Copenhagen in December 2009 and late February 2010, when the leaked cables end.

Some countries needed little persuading. The accord promised $30bn (£19bn) in aid for the poorest nations hit by global warming they had not caused. Within two weeks of Copenhagen, the Maldives foreign minister, Ahmed Shaheed, wrote to the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, expressing eagerness to back it.

By 23 February 2010, the Maldives' ambassador-designate to the US, Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, told the US deputy climate change envoy, Jonathan Pershing, his country wanted "tangible assistance", saying .

The Neocons of EnvironMENTALism


Climate change was a death sentence, not pollution. A death warrant of death by UNSTOPPABLE WARMING. It was a mistake, not an evil conspiracy. It was an exaggeration from a committed research and political industry that was too big to fail after 24 years of wrong predictions. We needed to seek much more understanding of climate first, before declaring the end of the world from unstoppable warming and condemning billions of children to an early death. Meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 25 years of climate control instead of population control. The news editors are the real one’s responsible for the CO2 mistake. Scientists not only polluted the planet with their chemicals, they also produced cruise missiles, cancer causing chemicals, land mine technology, nuclear weapons, germ warfare, strip mining technology, deep sea drilling technology and now climate change.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <p> <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <h1> <h2> <h3> <ul> <li> <ol> <b> <i> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Youtube and google video links are automatically converted into embedded videos.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options