No, I have not appointed myself spokesperson for the planet. But I agree with John Quiggin (a
political social scientist and also an Australian) at Crooked Timber, as well as at his own blog, that the recent government change in Australia was significant to producing a better-than-expected deal in Bali.
Until his [i.e. new Labor PM Kevin Rudd's] election, Australia, as the only other significant country not to ratify Kyoto, was Bushâ€™s most important supporter. After the switch, Australia was able to pursue a negotiating strategy which sometimes seemed to accommodating to the US, but ultimately produced an excellent outcome.
Of course, there are also some losers, who did all they could to stop this happening, and failed. But they know who they are, and thereâ€™s no need to dwell on them today.
The linked posts (especially the one at C.T.) also have very interesting comment threads. Contributions in light of the discussions there are very much welcome here.