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Earth

Denmark's draft deal earns ire of developing nations

Video by Yuka ROYER

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-09

UN climate talks in Copenhagen hit a rough patch on their second day on Tuesday as developing countries and activists attacked a draft compromise deal proposed by Denmark, saying it favoured rich countries.

AFP - UN climate talks hit turbulence on just their second day on Tuesday, as developing countries, green groups and aid activists attacked an early draft of a compromise deal proposed by Denmark, the conference chair. 
   
The leaked draft -- dated November 27 -- was criticised as a backroom stitchup that favoured rich countries on key issues of emissions curbs and financing for climate change.
   
The text is a "serious violation that threatens the success of the Copenhagen negotiating process," declared Sudan's Lumumba Stanislas Dia Ping, who heads the Group of 77 bloc of developing countries.
   

Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009

He said poorer nations would not boycott the talks.
   
"The G77 members will not walk out of this negotiation at this late hour because we can't afford a failure in Copenhagen," he told journalists.
   
"However, we will not sign an unequitable deal. We can't accept a deal that condemns 80 percent of the world population to further suffering and injustice."
   
UN climate chief Yvo de Boer and conference chairman Connie Hedegaard of Denmark sought to still the ruckus, insisting the text was informal and simply aimed at sounding out opinion.
   
Antonio Hill of Oxfam International said the draft seemed to ignore the interests of the world's poorest.
   
"Like ants in a room full of elephants, poor countries are at risk of being squeezed out of the climate talks in Copenhagen," he said.
   
"By discussing their text in secret back-room meetings with a few select countries, the Danes are doing the opposite of what the world expects the host country to do," said Meena Raman of Friends of the Earth.
   
The Copenhagen talks are taking place under the banner of the 194-nation UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
   
If all goes well, the conference -- whose climax on December 18 will be attended by more than 110 heads of state or government -- will yield an outline agreement that sets down pledges by major emitters to curb greenhouse-gas pollution.
   
It will also set down principles of financing to help wean poor countries off high-carbon technology and beef up their defences against climate change.
   

Twelve days in Copenhagen
 
Monday December 7: Official opening of the summit at 10am (GMT+1)
Saturday December 12: Citizen action day, with protests and events planned throughout Copenhagen and several world capitals
Wednesday December 16: Operation “Earth Hour”: the WWF has called all citizens of Copenhagen to turn off their lights at 7pm (GMT+1)
December 17 and 18: 109 heads of state meet in Copenhagen to wrap up negotiations
Further negotiations would be needed over the next year to flesh out the agreement. Once ratified, the accord would take effect from 2013.
   
The early draft, seen by AFP, states the UNFCCC's parties have a "shared vision" for limiting warming to a maximum of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.
   
Emissions pledges alike are not detailed -- they figure as "[X percent]" indicating that the figures still have to be agreed.
   
But, among other things, it points to a year by which developing countries, which are the big emitters of tomorrow, would see their emissions reach a maximum.
   
Chinese negotiator Su Wei said he had not seen the text, but insisted it was too soon for such commitments from poorer countries, which were still striving to haul themselves out of poverty.
   
"It is too early to talk about a peak year for developing countries," Su told reporters.
   
In addition, the draft document does not say that the future pact should include a second commitment period under the UNFCCC's Kyoto Protocol, whose current roster of pledges expires at the end of 2012.
   
Developing countries strongly favour Kyoto.
   
Industrialised countries that have ratified that treaty -- all the developing world, except the United States -- are legally bound to curb their carbon emissions, although this obligation does not apply to poorer nations.
   
UNFCCC Executive Secretary de Boer said the draft was "an informal paper ahead of the conference given to a number of people for the purposes of consultations."
   
Hedegaard dismissed accusations of covert dealings.
   
"Under no circumstances is this a 'secret Danish draft' for a new climate change agreement. Such a text does not exist," she said.
   
"In this kind of process, many different working papers are circulated amongst many different parties with their hands on the process. These papers are the basis for informal consultations that contribute with input used for testing various positions. Therefore, many papers exist. That is quite normal."
   

 

Date created : 2009-12-08

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