Foreign Policy Blogs

Bali Talks

It appears as if the entire constellation of those who've got a stake in addressing the climate change crisis have descended on Bali over the course of the last ten days.  The conference wraps up tomorrow.   Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the U.S. has reiterated the Bush administration's adamant opposition to mandatory GHG reductions.  (See No Surprises (Unfortunately) from last week.  The headline today from Reuters was EU accuses U.S. of blocking climate talks.  The White House has called a meeting of 17 of the world's top emitters, including China, Russia and India, in Hawaii late next month to discuss long-term curbs on greenhouse gases.  This follows on the nearly universally decried meetings the Bush administration hosted in Washington in September.  (See More Climate Change Talks.)  The feeling of one leading delegate in Bali, Humberto Rosa, Portugal's Secretary of State for Environment, was "If we would have a failure in Bali it would be meaningless to have a major economies’ meeting in the United States."

Reuters further notes Al Gore lays blame for Bali stalemate on U.S.  Gore said:  "I am going to speak an inconvenient truth.  My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress in Bali."  Ouch.   You can see a clip from Gore's speech here.

It's a further inconvenient truth, I'm afraid, but we're going to have to wait until January 20, 2009 to have the U.S. government get down to rolling up its sleeves in this.  See my predictions for next year and beyond at the new "Year in Review" page here at the blog.



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change