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An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2009-12-18

Is China holding the world to ransom?

INTERNATIONAL PRESS REVIEW: Papers in the UK point the finger of blame at China for stalling climate talks in Copenhagen while the Chinese press says the US “should not play the China card in order to shirk its own responsibilities.”

“China holds the world to ransom,” according to The Independent. Inside they wonder if Obama can persuade the Chinese to ‘fall into line’ on the key issue of monitoring emissions cuts. In the Comment section, Tony Juniper says China simply does not like to be told what to do. On a lighter note, the paper compares the Copenhagen summit to the Eurovision Song Contest, but with somewhat higher stakes.

Writing in The Guardian, the author of “No Logo” Naomi Klein says Africa has been sacrificed at the summit.The goal of limiting global average temperature increases to 2°C translates to 3-3.5% for Africa which in turn translates to 55 million extra people at risk of hunger. Klein quotes Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “We are facing impending disaster on a monstrous scale…A global goal of about 2°C will condemn Africa to incineration and no modern development.”

Yet that’s exactly what Ethiopia’s Prime Minister proposed to do when he stopped off in Paris on his way to Copenhagen. Standing alongside Nicolas Sarkozy, he supported the stated goal of limiting temperature increases to a global average of 2°C.

China Daily points the finger of blame in the direction of the US for the difficulties in reaching an accord in Copenhagen. Li Xing reminds readers that “the building that glows the most, powered by powerful lights throughout the night in Beijing is none other than the new American embassy.” It is ugly and wastes energy, she says. “An average American’s carbon footprint is four times more than that of a Chinese…The US should not play the China card in order to shirk its own responsibilities.”

Other articles in today’s international papers:

La Stampa
Berlusconi leaves hospital

Le Monde
An 18 year-old American outlaw who has become a star





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