After the Copenhagen summit, further linking of finance and aid with political support appears. Dutch officials, initially rejecting US overtures to back the accord, make a startling statement on 25 January. According to a cable, the Dutch climate negotiator Sanne Kaasjager " [for the accord]. This is an unprecedented move for the Dutch government, which traditionally recoils at any suggestion to use aid money as political leverage." Later, however, Kaasjager rows back a little, saying: "The Netherlands would find it difficult to make association with the accord a condition to receive climate financing."
Perhaps the most audacious appeal for funds revealed in the cables is from Saudi Arabia, the world's second biggest oil producer and one of the 25 richest countries in the world. A secret cable sent on 12 February records a meeting between US embassy officials and lead climate change negotiator Mohammad al-Sabban. "The kingdom will need time to diversify its economy away from petroleum, [Sabban] said, noting a '."
The Saudis did not like the accord, but were worried they had missed a trick. The assistant petroleum minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told US officials that he had told his minister Ali al-Naimi that Saudi Arabia had "missed a real opportunity to submit 'something clever', like India or China, that was not legally binding but indicated some goodwill towards the process without compromising key economic interests".
The cables obtained by WikiLeaks finish at the end of February 2010. Today, . Another 26 say they intend to associate. That total, of 140, is at the upper end of a 100-150 country target revealed by Pershing in his meeting with Hedegaard on 11 February.
The 140 nations represent almost 75% of the 193 countries that are parties to the UN climate change convention and, accord supporters like to point out, are responsible for well over 80% of current global greenhouse gas emissions.
At the mid-point of the major , there have already been flare-ups over how funding for climate adaptation is delivered. The biggest shock has been Japan's announcement that it will . That gives a huge boost to the accord. US diplomatic wheeling and dealing may, it seems, be bearing fruit.
Photo of Julian Assange: New Media Days
Republished with permission.