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What is the Defintion of a “Deal”?

12/19/09

Countries have been struggling with this question for weeks, months, and even years. NGOs and poor, developing countries may describe a deal as an agreement between parties that gives each benefits to all. Developed countries clearly have a different idea. Even though many news agencies around the world are calling Obama’s rushed, climate consensus in Copenhagen a “deal”, the rest of the world has failed to see how it differs from any other proposition raised during the two weeks of negotiations.Those countries that are not part of the agreement, which includes nearly the entire global south and the EU, had less kind words than most news agencies. The G77 reported that Obama’s climate deal was the worst in history. The EU was slightly more optimistic when they said the late-night accord kept their goals and ambitions alive, but added that the deal fell far short of expectations.

Earlier in the conference, a draft text written by Denmark was leaked. The negotiators of developing countries were infuriated that a secret pact had been in development without their consent or input. Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, chair of the Group of 77 was especially critical, calling it undemocratic and a breach of the UN negotiating process.

The Danish draft text was an agreement that probably would have received no more than a few countries’ consent. Similarly, Obama’s forced deal has only gained the support of China, India, Brazil and South Africa. The majority of the UN, representing billions of people, were removed from these negotiations.

A deal written solely by Denmark is no deal at all, and a deal hammered out in the wee hours this morning at the end of the conference with no support by a majority of countries is no deal either.

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