Like Hamlet, Shakespeare's conflicted Prince of Denmark, China was caught between conflicting currents in Copenhagen. Its failure to manage these challenges led to its biggest diplomatic debacle in years.
The Copenhagen Accord represents an ignominious retreat from the urgent and universal imperative of combating climate change through cooperative global action. It needs to be replaced with an ambitious, legally binding agreement.
Thanks to the courage of Bolivia and a few other nations – and against huge pressure and threats to sign the deal - the UN did not endorse or adopt the vacuous Copenhagen Accord but instead were forced to use the much weaker language of “noting” it.
So it seems that for once everyone agrees on something: the UN climate summit in Copenhagen was a spectacular failure. That is quite an achievement in itself, since consensus seems a rarity in these times.