The failure of the UN climate summit in Copenhagen is a historical watershed that marks the beginning of the end of climate hysteria. Not only does it epitomise the failure of the EU’s environmental policy, it also symbolises the loss of Western dominance. The failure of the climate summit was not only predictable — it was inevitable. There was no way out from the cul-de-sac into which the international community has manoeuvred itself. The global deadlock simply reflects the contrasting, and in the final analysis irreconcilable interests of the West and the rest of the world. The result is likely to be an indefinite moratorium on the international climate legislation. After Copenhagen, the chances for a binding successor of the Kyoto Protocol are as good as zero.
The extent of the debacle and the shift in the balance of geopolitical power was demonstrated by the fact that the final accord was made without the participation of the European Union. The exclusion of Europe is a remarkable symbol of the EU’s growing loss of influence, a green bureaucracy that was not even asked whether they agreed with the non-binding declaration of China, India and the USA. Although the Copenhagen conference was held in a European capital, the negotiations and the final result of the conference were totally outside European involvement.
The visibly shaken EU leaders had to admit that they were taken by surprise and had been outmanoeuvred by China, India and the USA. US president Obama and the leaders of India and China had left Copenhagen long before the European heads of state were forced to agree with an accord which had been reached without their input. A rejection of the Asian-American Copenhagen Accord would have been an option, were it not that it would have pushed the EU into the extremist corner of Hugo Chavez and Robert Mugabe.
The failed climate summit caused a tectonic shift in international relations and left behind a new political landscape. After Copenhagen, green Europe looks rather antiquated and the rest of the world looks totally different. The principles on which Europe’s climate policies were founded and which formed the basis of the Kyoto Protocol have lost their power while the EU itself lost authority and influence.
True-blooded advocates of Realpolitik who hardly exist in the climate policy debate, had warned for a long time that Copenhagen would fail to bridge the divergent interests of the West and the developing countries. For political realists, it is no surprise whatever that all key decisions were postponed indefinitely. What is more, there is little doubt that China and India are the big winners of the Copenhagen climate poker. The two emerging superpowers managed to win new strategic allies, even among Western nations. China’s and India’s strategy to align themselves with other developing countries in opposition to protectionist threats by the U.S. and the EU proved itself as very successful. In the end, their persistent No even forced the Obama administration to join the anti-green alliance.