How Brics made a former champion of human rights into the muzzled lapdog of suspect superpowers
SA makes a cameo, and unflattering, appearance in Barack Obama's best-selling first volume of his presidential memoirs, A Promised Land. The scene is the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. Obama tells of a dramatic confrontation with Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier who was at the summit with his Brics colleagues Brazil, Russian, India and SA.
The Kyoto protocol, which Copenhagen was expected to supercede, had absolved emerging powers such as Brazil, China and India - all big polluters - from binding obligations to curb their emissions...