Playing poker in Copenhagen

As the world’s environment ministers, government officials, diplomats and campaigners prepare to attend the next COP15 conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 on climate change, diplomats and experts from all fields of activity are engaged in one of the most complicated political deals the world has ever seen.

Key to all debates and issues is that what some countries see as barriers, others perceive as bargaining chips. Many developed countries favor an extension of climate-change mitigation actions to developing countries, or at least to some of them – namely, India, China, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, countries whose economies are taking on a more and more important role in the global game. The other way around, many developing countries will be using finance and technology transfer as a deal breaker for their consent to the overall deal.

The whole debate, in Copenhagen, will be centered around this theme: finding a common point between the two positions. The give-and-take trading will probably evolve around what is referred to as the ‘chicken and egg question’: actions depend on financing, or financing on actions?. As in a poker game, we can expect to see countries delaying final decisions until the very last hours of the conference when all chips will be on the table and some one will call it off.



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