Kyoto protocol

US and Iraq negotiate post-war partnership just weeks from withdrawal; Obama warns Iran to respect Iraq's sovereignty; China has been cyber-spying, US intelligence claims; Over 5000 dead in Syria since Assad crackdown; "Holiday Man" working presidential bid in Russia; Canada pulls out of Kyoto after years of complaint; and more

Top of the Agenda: US and Iraq Forge New Partnership

Delegates came home upbeat from the Cancún climate talks, although the Copenhagen Accord texts were hardly altered by the Cancún Agreements. Were there good reasons for optimism? Or were the “rounds of cheering and applause,” “at times near euphoria,” psychological symptoms of something else?

Adrian Macey says it’s far too soon to analyse the meaning and import of Cancún. Mr Macey is a highly regarded diplomat. I am a lowly blogger: a marginally less considered, cautious breed. Here goes:

If there is no post-Kyoto climate deal, of the kind attempted at Copenhagen, few if any will care. Jeanette Fitzsimons, back in the country and back at work, tells Pundit why she doubts Kyoto and the ETS can help us. She wants to start again

It turns out that Copenhagen was, in fact, more of a failure than we knew: it was not the destination some hoped, not even another milestone, but a rock in the road so large that we may need to take another route.

Papers show an official abundance of caution persuaded New Zealand to downplay soil as a carbon sink, instead of bringing it into the ETS, as a carrot for farmers

You know the old cliche, about wood, and trees.

Nick Smith’s on the road again, selling his emissions trading scheme to a hostile public. It’s a green lemon: the less voters understand it, the better it will be for the government

Environment Minister Nick Smith is defending his emissions trading scheme (ETS), which commences for energy and industrial sectors on 1 July. He’s holding 20-plus public meetings nationwide, dropping pamphlets, doing the media.