The US has been giving the impression that they were taking the climate change negotiations more seriously than in previous times. And they do. To the extend of influencing the composition of the delegations that other countries are sending to the COP15 in Copenhagen so that they can get their way easily by taking out those negotiatiors known to be a pain.
The ultimate example of this sabotage strategy is the “coincidence” of the visit of US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton to the Philippines with the destitution of Bernardita de Castro Muller as climate-change advisor of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and coordinator for the G77 (group of the 77 development countries) and China Group in the climate-change talks.
Bernadita has been one of the main responsibles that the heterogeneous group of G77+China managed to articulate a strong and united message that tells the inconvenient truths that the developed countries don’t want to hear. Hence, the US thought it would be a good idea to get her out of the way so that the Copenhagen talks can be more “peaceful”. The 20 years experienced diplomat and her whole team were removed from the Philippine delegation, which at the same time left the G77+China without spokesperson.
The surprise came when right before the negotiations the Sudan delegation announced that Bernadita de Castro Muller would be representing the country which happens to chair the G77. Other members of her team appeared representing countries such as Bolivia. The “Ditas” team was back in the game!
The Philippino government made a fool of itself when it came out that the US strategy to behead the G77+China backfired and as Muller declared: “By serving as the negotiator for Sudan/G77, we will all be proving a point to the Annex 1 countries. Vulnerable countries, despite their “vulnerability”, can and will stand as one and be strong for each other and for the entire humanity.”
The US and the EU have been repeatedly trying to torpedo the unity of the developing world so that they can continue polluting whist at the same time even manage to make some money out of it. The old “divide and rule” tactic is being used over and over again.
It is true that the G77 is extremely heterogeneous and that countries like Saudi Arabia or Kuwait are radically different than countries such as Ruanda or Bangladesh but it is also true that the only way the G77+China can push the US and the EU to face its responsibilities is by staying together and acting as one. Having the experienced Bernardita Muller back in the negotiations, despite the efforts of the Americans to get her out of the way, will definitely help to bring in realism to Copenhagen.