They couldn't even reiterate what they decided last year, when Bush was negotiating for the U.S. and the Waxman-Markey had not yet been thought of: to cut emissions by 50% by 2050. Why? Because the entire developing world opposed the plan:
The failure to establish specific targets on climate change underscored the difficulty in bridging longstanding divisions between the most developed countries like the United States and developing nations like China and India. In the end, people close to the talks said, the emerging powers refused to agree to the specific emissions limits because they wanted industrial countries to commit to midterm goals in 2020, and to follow through on promises of financial and technological help.
“They’re saying, ‘We just don’t trust you guys,’ ” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group based in the United States.
Why don't they trust us? Hmm:
China, India and the other developing nations are upset that commitments to provide financial and technological help made during a United Nations conference in Bali, Indonesia, in 2007 have not translated into anything more tangible in the interim.
Mr. Meyer estimated that the United States, Europe and other industrial nations need to come up with $150 billion a year in assistance by 2020 to help develop clean-energy technology for developing countries, reduce deforestation that contributes to rising temperatures and help vulnerable nations adapt to changes attributed to greenhouse gases.
In other words, the developing world is saying "show us the money".
I thought Waxman-Markey was supposed to make it easier to get international cooperation. Instead, the richest countries in the world can't even re-commit to the plan that President Bush signed on to last year, which had no direct requirements but rather a vague target 40+ years in the future. Imagine what actual negotiations would be like.