China and India seem poised to place the United States (and Canada) in a "put up or shut up" position on fighting climate change. The UN's top climate change official, Yvo de Boer, expects Chinese president Hu Jintao to surprise tomorrow's summit in New York by unveiling a series of climate change initiatives that will leave the US trailing badly behind. From The Guardian:
The Chinese and Indian measures — if fully realised — could represent a breakthrough in bringing them into a global climate change deal at a UN summit in Copenhagen in December. Almost all observers say the Copenhagen talks are danderously stalled.
"This suite of policies will take China to be a world leader on addressing climate change, and it will be quite ironic to hear that expressed tomorrow in a country (the United States) that is firmly convinced that China is doing nothing to address climate change," De Boer said.
...Ed Miliband, the [British] climate change secretary, said that recent moves by India, China and other developing nations had improved the chances of a comprehensive global warming deal at Copenhagen. But, writing in tomorrow's Guardian, he warned that a new kind of diplomacy was needed: "We must be in this together rather than looking for who to blame. The fate of every nation on earth hangs on the outcome of Copenhagen. It is too important to play the cards close-to-your-chest poker games that marked diplomacy of the 20th century."
Let's hope it isn't just Washington that's embarassed tomorrow. Steve Harper's Ottawa also needs to eat a big helping of humble pie.