Deep divisions starting to show in Copenhagen

2009-12-10 11:55

DEEP divisions are showing between developed and developing

countries as power blocks and delegates flex their muscles.

Small island nations and African countries as pushing for a new

legally binding protocol, that must have better targets on greenhouse gas

emissions than the Kyoto Protocol.

This is being opposed by some fast developing countries including

China who wants Kyoto’s targets to remain in place.

This has prompted Tuvalu, one of the small island states to demand

that negotiations on the matter to be suspended.

Connie Hedegaard, president of the COP15 climate negotiations in

Copenhagen, is engaged in behind-the-scenes talks to find a solution.

The G77+China usually agree during negotiations, but after the

public divisions there is speculation that the block is crumbling.

Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace International said the suspension of

talks following the Tuvalu suggestion was over a key issue - whether any

agreement reached would be legally binding.

“For the world’s most vulnerable countries, which includes Tuvalu,

these negotiations are about survival. It is about whether the rest of the world

is serious about stopping climate change.

‘‘Only a legally binding agreement will give these countries the

assurance that their future has been guaranteed.’’

He appealed to industrialised countries including Germany, France,

Britain and Japan, to commit to a legally binding agreement.

Meanwhile there is still consternation over a ‘secret’ document

known as the so-called Danish text, that has been leaked.

The documents apparently shows that world leaders will next week be

asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries and sidelines

the UN’s role in all future climate change negotiations.

The document is also being interpreted by developing countries as

setting unequal limits on carbon emissions for developed and developing

countries - meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit

nearly twice as much under the proposals.

The chairperson of the G77+China, Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping of

Sudan, issued a strongly worded attacked on the climate talks host country

because of the document.

Di-Aping said the document needed to be thrown out in its


Insiders say there is widespread unease amongst developing

countries, including South Africa, over the document.

Yvo de Boer, secretary-general of the UN climate secretariat has

urged that the document, which is not being discussed formally, not overshadow


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