Audio: Wikileaks and the Cancun Summit

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

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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