Wikileaks casts shadow over Cancun climate conference

According to Wikileaks cables, US top climate negotiator Todd Stern accuses nations vulnerable to climate change of first asking for money and then with bribery. The cables reveal how US cajoled poor nations to endorse the controversial Copenhagen Accord.

In December 2009 and February 2010, the US launched a diplomatic offensive aimed at getting on board as many countries as possible to associate with the climate accord, believing it served US interests and that it would be adopted by the UN. A total of  140 nations, including may least developed nations have associated with the accord.

The accord promised $ 30 billion by way of aid to the poorest nations affected by global warming. Within two weeks of Copenhagen climate conference, the foreign minister of the Maldives, Ahmed Shaheed, wrote to the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, saying the island nation was ready to back it.

By February 23, 2010, the Maldives' ambassador-designate to the US, Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, told the US deputy climate change envoy, Jonathan Pershing, that Maldives looked forward to "tangible assistance", saying other nations realising the advantages of complying with the US position would come on board.

Though Maldives were rather unusual in coming on board so readily, the other small island nations were secretly seen to be amenable to financial inducement.

During US deputy climate chief Jonathan Pershing's meeting with the EU's climate action commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, in Brussels, she told him according to a cable that "the AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States) countries 'could be our best allies' given their need for financing".