The documents also show substantial jockeying for access to Arctic resources. One shows that the U.S. believes that Greenland, a semi-autonomous territory of Denmark, will be independent soon and is wooing Greenlanders to make it easy for American companies to explore there.
Another showed that Canada has warned other NATO countries to stay away from Arctic exploration. "They don't belong," the documents quote Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as saying. Harper made the Arctic a signature campaign issue.
According to the documents, the Bush administration set up a dialog with the Chinese, a 10-year framework to discuss energy and the environment. The two countries also agreed to hold a "Strategic and Economic Dialogue"—secret backroom talks to coordinate efforts.
When the Obama administration came to power, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton went to China, and, according to the documents, agreed to form a new partnership to guarantee that the Copenhagen accords met the demands of the two countries.
"On a day-to-day basis, there is not a whole lot of difference between the Bush and the Obama administrations," said Kyle Ash, senior legislative representative to Greenpeace. "The Obama administration is clearly not in climate denial or in denial about the U.S. role. They don't feel they have the political backing at home or internationally, so what they are doing is stalling."