As if the Copenhagen climate talks weren’t complicated enough, a new email leak is causing a rift between the world’s biggest polluters and developing nations. The ‘Danish Text‘ as it’s being called, appears to be a draft of a secret agreement among the US, UK, and Denmark to form a ‘circle of commitment’ that would empower specific nations to steer climate agreements, sidelining the powers of the United Nations. The agreement would scrap the Kyoto treaty and hand control of climate change finance to the World Bank.
The largest polluters in the world are the US, China, and India, and many developing nations feel as though they should shoulder the financial burden of greenhouse gas reductions so that their nations can continue modernizing.
Meanwhile, nations with heavy oil interests like Saudi Arabia are voicing opposition to meaningful policy changes, pointing to a recent leek of emails that show a handful of scientists sharing ‘graphical tricks’ to brush over holes in their data. Although the hacked emails are from a small number of scientists in a community of over ten thousand, they have become an important but lonely talking point for the opposition.
Professor Phil Jones, director of the Norwich-based University of East Anglia’s (UEA) Climatic Research Unit (CRU), has stepped down from his post over the incident. Meanwhile, some environmentalists have their own conspiracy theory, believing a computer server in Siberia related to the incident implicates Russia as a conspirator behind the hacked emails.