Last Updated: 12:22 P.M.: A stream of tweets on the new UN draft text—the “Copenhagen Accord” are coming in from David Corn, who has been reporting from the summit since talks began. Corn confirms that the new draft drops calls for a binding treaty by 2010, and calls only for a “review” in 2016.
Corn also says the draft no longer contains specific emission cut commitments from the world's developing nations, and promises only domestic auditing of emissions reductions and public disclosure of results from the Chinese. The text says that “clarification” of emissions cuts “may” (Corn's emphasis) be provided to outside parties.
It's also being reported now that President Obama will return to the U.S. today, and not stay in Copenhagen overnight so as to keep arm-twisting the Chinese tomorrow, as it was earlier suggested he might do. White House staffers are telling ABC News 'the Chinese are dug in, and we've done all we can do.'
I guess that makes it official. The serious stuff is over, the big players are leaving town, and only the hoopla and farce remain behind to play themselves out over the next day or two. At this point, all that's left in Copenhagen is - in the phrase South Park applied to another attention-whoring enterprise - "incompetent vegan pussies doing absolutely nothing and trying to turn it into drama."
I'm pleased with this outcome. It should make for entertaining TV-watching while snowed in tomorrow. The forecast is for about one foot of snow to fall over Washington starting around midnight. I'm stocked up on coffee and firewood, and my kids are getting ready for a marathon Rock Band session in the basement. I'll spend Sunday leisurely digging out. The weekend looks good!