Copenhagen: What Happened, and What Didn’t

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


As Copenhagen sputtered to a stop, Hillary Clinton made a surprise announcement that the US would give $100 billion annually to help poorer nations cope with climate change, but only if China and other nations would make their voluntary emissions limits binding. The “get China on board” meme continued with President Obama’s speech. His speech was longer than those of other countries, and Bill McKibben thinks he positioned super-polluting nations against poorer, would-be super-polluters. David Corn noted that Obama seemed frustrated, and said that despite America’s good intentions, if China isn’t on board, they won’t really matter. Henry Waxman agreed, saying that although he though Obama’s speech was more unifying, China’s willingness to make compromises was very key. For a while, it looked like Copenhagen would end without any resolution. But since Obama’s speech, China and the US met in one-on-one sessions, and other nations rallied round to at least put together some non-binding resolutions. The result: the Copenhagen Accords.

As the final text of the Copenhagen Accords gets hammered out, Kate Sheppard gave a detailed analysis of what meaning it could have if Congress isn’t on board. Six of Congress’s finest GOP members made a splash in Denmark, espousing “unorthodox” positions on CO2 and warming, such as the IPCC is not interested in science and that global warming is a money-making scam. Unfortunately, these six aren’t the only Americans who don’t believe in climate change.

Update: At 3 am, leaving them just enough time to get to the airport, David and Kate filed a must read piece on how Obama’s deal with the big emitters happened and whether it is something to cheer or jeer.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate