Ramesh, the then Indian environment minister and a key player in the
talks that involved 192 countries and 110 heads of state, said: "Why
the hell did they do this and at the end of this, what did they get
out of Copenhagen? They got some outcome but certainly not the
outcome they wanted. It was completely silly of them. First of all,
they didn't get what they wanted. With all their hi-tech gizmos and
all their snooping, ultimately the Basic countries [Brazil, South
Africa, India and China] bailed Obama out. With all their snooping
what did they get?"
Khor, an adviser to developing countries at the summit and director
of the South Centre thinktank, said: "Would you play poker with
someone who can see your cards? Spying on one another like this is
absolutely not on. When someone has an upper hand is very
disconcerting. There should be an assurance in negotiations like this
that powerful players are not going to gain undue advantage with
negotiations as complex as these we need maximum goodwill and trust.
It is absolutely critical. If there is anything that prevents a level
playing field, that stops negotiations being held on equal grounds.
It disrupts the talks," he said.
NSA would keep US negotiators abreast of their rivals' positions, the
document says. "Leaders and negotiating teams from around the
world will undoubtedly be engaging in intense last-minute policy
formulating; at the same time, they will be holding sidebar
discussions with their counterparts, details of which are of great
interest to our policymakers … Signals intelligence will
undoubtedly play a significant role in keeping our negotiators as
well informed as possible throughout the negotiations," it
document shows the NSA had provided advance details of the Danish
plan to "rescue" the talks should they founder, and also
had learned of China's efforts to coordinate its position with India
before the conference.
talks – which ended in disarray after the US, working with a small
group of 25 countries, tried to ram through an agreement that other
developing countries mostly rejected – were marked by subterfuge,
passion and chaos.
of the Danish negotiating team told
the Danish newspaper Information that
both the US and Chinese delegations were "peculiarly
well-informed" about closed-door discussions. "They simply
sat back, just as we had feared they would if they knew about our
document," one source told Information.
negotiators at the summit declined to say whether their negotiating
positions had been informed by US intelligence. "It is a
longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters,"
said a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the
UK government department that led the negotiations in Copenhagen.
Miliband, who as energy secretary led the political negotiations for
Britain, declined to comment. However, at the time, he was furious
that the Danish text which the US had received advance information
been leaked to the Guardian.
one key negotiator for the G77 group of 132 developing countries, who
asked not to be named, said at the time that he strongly believed
that the US was eavesdropping on his meetings and would only talk in
a secure back room that he thought was not bugged. "I was well
aware that they seemed to know what our position was before we did,"
he told the Guardian.
Ramesh said that he had no idea that the US was spying on him. "I
didn't get a sense that I was being followed. I didn't get a sense
that my phones were tapped," he said.
society groups from around the world condemned the US. "The UN
climate talks are supposed to be about building trust – that's been
under threat for years because of the US backward position on climate
action – these revelations will only crack that trust further,"
said Meena Raman, negotiations expert from the Malaysian-based Third
climate change is a global struggle, and these revelations clearly
show that the US government is more interested in crassly protecting
a few vested interests," said Brandon Wu, senior policy analyst
with development organisation ActionAid in the United States.