Copenhagen Summary: Two Days Left

News coverage coming out of the climate talks in Copenhagen are all variations on a theme: negotiations remain tense and complicated, and no one knows if they will succeed or not.

However, several veterans of international negotiations have been quoted as saying the unruly nature of the talks is typical.

Connie Hedegaard, the Danish minister presiding over the opening days of the conference likened the process to to forcing schoolchildren to do their homework before a deadline. "If they have a very long deadline to deliver an exercise they will wait for the last moment… It’s basically as simple as that," she said. (Reuters reporting)

Hedegaard on Wednesday stepped down from her leadership role in the conference, handing the gavel to Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen. The Danes said the change was procedural, reflecting the arrival of high-ranking officials and heads of state.

The move might also have been seen as an opportunity to renew good will with developing nations who have accuesed Hedegaard of trying to rush a negotiating text through the main plenary that would sideline the issue of preserving the Kyoto Protocol–a top priority of developing nations.

However, within minutes of taking the chair position, Prime Minister Rasmussen stepped right back into the fray with China’s chief negotiator Su Wei. Rasmussen urged developing nations to move beyond "procedure, procedure, procedure." Wei responded that a "very just process" was necessary for a successful outcome to the talks. (Washington Post)

Outside the negotiations, protests grew more heated, as Danish police fired pepper spray and used batons on protestors, arresting about 230, according to the Associated Press.

Speaking on the behalf of African nations, Males Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopiasaid that funding for adaptation and mitigation should reach $100 billion a year by 2020, and $50 billion a year by 2015. (Xinhua News Agency)

Funding commitments from Europe and Japan now account for about two-thirds of a proposed $10 billion a year fund for the years 2010-2013. However, no industrialized nations have pledged mid-term funding through 2020. 

Negotiators have five main obstacles to a Copenhagen agreement, according to a blog report New Energy Finance — 1) specification of developed country mitigation targets; 2) definition of mitigation actions of developing countries; 3) securing financing for adaptation and mitigation in developing countries 4) the treatment of bunker fuels; 5) and the recognition of special circumstances of countries relating to mitigation.

Another significant issue concerning Kyoto carbon rights came to light today in a Reuters report. Under the Kyoto Protocol, eastern European countries, including Russia, have hold large numbers of Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) that could undermine a post-kyoto deal. Due to the collapse of the soviet bloc economies, these countries are below their greenhose emissions targets under Kyoto. They have the right to sell th AAUs to other countries.

Seven eastern European countries proposed that AAUs be bankable under a new agreement, while green groups pushed to abolish AAU banking and large-scale trade in the rights. Russia and Ukraine alone have an AAU surplus of billions. 

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made an appearance at the conference on Tuesday, as did New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Both urged world leaders to reach a strong agreement, but insisted that local and state governments forge their own paths, if federal leadership fails. (Reuters reporting).

Pope Benedict said industrialized nations must recognize their responsibility for the environmental crisis, in a statement made from Vatican City. Benedict announced that the them of Roman Catholic Church’s annual World Day of Peace, to be marked on Januray 1, will be "If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation." (Reuters reporting)

And finally, said the proposals made thus far in Copenhagen will lead to a "scorched earth scenario" of 770 parts per million (PPM) greenhouse gases in the atmosphere–far above the 350 ppm advocated by the nonprofit group. To view a graph of the proposals, versus "business as usual" and a 350 ppm path, visit the link below. Also you’ll find links for contacting world leaders to urge for greater ambition.

Website: [sorry this link is no longer available]     
(Visited 6,379 times, 7 visits today)

Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *