The meeting drew more than 10,000 participants, including representatives of over 180 countries and observers from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, and the media.
The Bali Roadmap outlined a new negotiating process to be concluded by 2009 to feed into a post-Kyoto (i.e. a post-2012) international agreement on climate change. The Roadmap included a decision to launch an Adaptation Fund as well as further decisions on technology transfer and on reducing emissions from deforestation.
But the conference was also accompanied by controversy, including
The US position being at odds with most of the rest of the world
Talk of developing countries’ responsibilities (such as China and India) while rich countries (the source of the problem) have made little progress, themselves.
As Inter Press Service (IPS) summarized:
Campaign groups such as Friends of the Earth, many of whom were at the talks themselves, were disappointed with the outcome, saying targets were watered down to mere footnotes in the final text.
The mainstream British media, as well as other European outlets had been quite critical of the US stance and tactics. As IPS also noted,
What were the kind of objectives the developing world was trying to ensure? That they were not scapegoats for climate change. For many, many years now, it has been recognized that the rich nations have been mostly at fault for climate change, because their greenhouse emissions have lingered in the atmosphere for decades.
For some rich countries to want to avoid action until countries like India and China are subject to similar targets has been seen by much of the world as actually being unfair, especially as the rich nations have not reduced their emissions much.
For example, the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is quoted here at length:
(The above article also notes the disparities within nations, including countries such as India, where the wealthy do consume far more than the rich, and that needs addressing too.)
CSE also points out that India and China are not that energy inefficient as often believed:
(The second myth they felt was Efficiency, not sufficiency, will cut emissions. They argue that while efficiency is of course important, there are examples where say car emissions have become better but people have been driving more, thus overall driving up emissions.)
In addition to the various links above, also see the following:
Climate Change Special from Down To Earth Magazine, by the Centre for Science and Environment, December 15, 2007 issue. This 17-part article looks at various issues on the politics of climate change, leading up to Bali.