Did the faked letters and hacked email accounts have any bearing on the climate talks in Copenhagen?



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    Substantively, no, but politically, maybe. The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Copenhagen in December 2009, resulted in a document whereby the major CO2-producing nations expressed their hope that they could contain the global rise in temperatures to 2 degrees or less, but did not contain any specific “hard targets” for emissions that would achieve this goal. The failure of the Copenhagen Summit to achieve more than it did has been blamed on numerous factors, one of which is conservative political pressure in both the United States and China to slow action to mitigate climate change. The November 2009 Climate Research Unit emails, which global warming skeptics insist show that scientists forged climate change data to reach a predestined political conclusion, really aren’t very consequential in the scheme of things, but they played into the hands of political conservatives in the United States who either doubt global warming exists, doubt it’s caused by man or resist any efforts to combat it. In China, the resistance to global warming action appears to be based on a suspicion that the theory of global warming is an invention by the West to prevent China from overtaking it economically. While I could not find any specific mention of the CRU emails at Copenhagen, at least at any policy-making level, the political pressures that the emails illustrate are always in the background, and may have contributed to the complicated domestic situation that summit participating nations faced when going to the table to try to make a deal on climate change.

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