Audio: Wikileaks and the Cancun Summit

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

The US embassy cables released by the whistleblower organization WikiLeaks have rattled diplomats across the globe, revealing an unvarnished look at US foreign policy on a number of issues, from Iran’s nuclear program to relations with China.

But what about climate change?

Just as the United Nations conference on greenhouse gas emissions wraps up in Cancun, new cables have been released that suggest the US may have strong-armed developing countries, such as the Maldives and Saudi Arabia, into signing last year’s climate change accord in Copenhagen. The memos also reveal an astonishing amount of pessimism on the part of some world leaders, such as European Union President Herman Van Rompuy, regarding the chances of success at Copenhagen and Cancun.

The WikiLeaks revelations have prompted charges of “bribery” and “secrecy” at the Cancun conference. To get a sense of how the cables may complicate the negotiations, guest host Sal Gentile spoke with Lisa Friedman, deputy editor of ClimateWire, an online energy publication that covers climate change issues. Friedman has written about the cables, and joined Need to Know by phone from Cancun, where she’s covering the UN conference.

This podcast was produced by Need to Know for the Climate Desk collaboration.

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a 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