Achieving something meaningful at Copenhagen was always a tough proposition. There was nothing new in that. Coordinating a deal between all the nations of the world poses formidable problems. What is surprising is the short-sightedness of those countries which created the problem in the first place.
Therefore, the “solution” in sight is hardly surprising: rich countries’ coercion of the middling countries that stand in the way. Brazil, India and China were facing the music on this count. The US and others have done precious little so far.
A better way out would have been to take into account the concerns of the poorer countries. But as in all such deals, it is much cheaper to indulge in divisive tactics. Very poor parties can be either bought outright or scared into submission.
It is a reflection of the unequal abilities of countries that so much success has come the way of the rich countries. Even India has been forced to make conciliatory noises where none was called for.