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Will we see a Royal Flush in Copenhagen? (image by The Lobby)

As happens in poker games, players often “check” before betting. Poker tactics and psychology seem to work as well in climate change negotiations. After a long silence, two major card sharks have finally announced their bet as the game truly begins.

The bets translate into a 17% reduction by 2020 for the US and a 40% reduction by 2020 for China. That doesn’t sound too bad except that there is a little footnote. The base year to calculate the reductions is 2005 for both countries. Compared to 1990 levels (the EU’s base year) this makes the figure look tiny. Even tinier for China which will reduce by 40% “per unit of GDP”, thereby linking efforts to economic growth – the devil, as The Lobby’s boss likes to say, is in the detail. Whilst welcoming both players to the game, the Swedish EU Presidency announced itself to be ‘disappointed’ and asked them to raise their bets. That’s however a good start according to many commentators and China even received support from Greenpeace – so it can’t be too bad!

The EU of course wants more – as in a poker game, the one who’s got the good hand always wants to raise the pot. Shuffle up and deal!

Maxime

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The Lobby is honoured to present you with the “Kosovo Nation Branding Campaign” – currently available on YouTube (see video inset at the end of this post) and soon to be broadcast on television portraying a new image of this still heavily disputed new nation, which is after all, just round the corner from many of us.

The campaign shows the Kosovo Government’s brave attempts to break with the negative image the world has of this Balkan country, especially given how fresh the war in Kosovo still is in many people’s minds.

The video portrays an image of a young and vibrant, beautiful nation, against the backdrop of a tune gently reminding us that “it is time to start over”

As presented in the clip, the country’s new slogan is ‘Kosovo, the young Europeans’, as they are the youngest European state. Nonetheless, the bright new nation is yet to be recognised as such by the majority of countries across the globe. Although the US and many EU member states have recognised the country since its unilateral declaration of independence of Serbia in early 2008, other world powers such as China and Russia have not.

For what it is worth, the video is definitely inspiring.

– Lieneke

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Great wall of China

Great Wall of China

The Lobby has learnt that in the last few hours China has blocked access to content sharing platforms such as YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, or Tumblr, most probably using their Golden Shield Project firewall. Blogs hosted by WordPress or Blogger have also been blocked. According to several journalists on the web, Chinese authorities want to pre-empt any attempts to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident.

It is a sad example of government censorship but acutely highlights another dimension of social media, namely that it poses a real threat to dictatorial regimes around the world and in many countries serves a purpose greater than mere social interaction.

– Maxime

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