Tagged: Climate Crisis

China, U.S. clash over 2010 U.N. climate talks

Reuters | Sat Apr 10, 2010 | 1:19am IST

The United States and China clashed on Friday about how to revive climate talks in 2010, complicating the first U.N. session since the acrimonious Copenhagen summit fell short of agreeing a treaty. Many delegates at the 175-nation talks in Bonn from April 9-11 urged efforts to restore trust between rich and poor countries but few held out hopes for a breakthrough deal to fight global warming at the next major talks in Cancun, Mexico, in late 2010. In a split between the world’s top two emitters of greenhouse gases, Washington said it wanted talks in 2010 to build on a non-binding Copenhagen Accord for limiting global warming reached by more than 110 nations at the December summit.

Beijing insisted negotiations should be guided by other draft U.N. texts and said Premier Wen Jiabao had been "vexed" at one point in Copenhagen by the way the meetings were organised in small groups. "We view Copenhagen as a significant milestone," U.S. negotiator Jonathan Pershing told delegates. "We believe that the accord should materially influence further negotiations. This was not a casual agreement." The accord, backed by about 120 nations, sets a goal of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F), but does not say how. It also holds out the prospect of $100 billion in aid a year to developing nations.

BALI, CANCUN

Su We, China’s negotiator, gave no praise to the Copenhagen Accord in a speech and said work in 2010 should be guided by U.N. texts worked out since a meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in 2007. Those texts are also marred by disagreements. "Cancun has a very clear objective –   

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“Earth to Ban Ki-moon” or how a deal was sealed in Copenhagen

Reuters blog | December 23rd, 2009 | 03:26

Sweden complained that the recent Copenhagen climate change summit was a “disaster.” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described it as “at best flawed and at worst chaotic.” Sudan’s U.N. ambassador, Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem, dubbed the outcome confirmation of “climate apartheid.” For South Africa it was simply “not acceptable.” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who for over a year had been urging the 192 members of the United Nations to “seal the deal” in Copenhagen, saw things differently. In a statement issued by his press office, Ban said the two-week meeting had a “successful conclusion with substantive outcomes.” Speaking to reporters, the secretary-general expanded on that: “Finally we sealed the deal. And it is a real deal. Bringing world leaders to the table paid off.” However, he tempered his praise for the participating delegations by noting that the outcome “may not be everything that everyone hoped for.”

In fact, the outcome fell far short of what Ban had been calling for over the last year. He had originally hoped the meeting would produce a legally binding agreement with ambitious targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and funding to help developing nations cope with global warming. Instead, it “noted” an accord struck by the United States, China and other emerging powers that were widely criticized as      Continue reading

Copenhagen climate summit held to ransom – Gordon Brown

BBC NEWS | 2009/12/21 | 14:25:07 GMT

Gordon Brown will accuse a small group of countries of holding the Copenhagen climate summit talks to ransom. The 193-nation UN conference ended with delegates simply “taking note” of a US-led climate deal that recognised the need to limit temperature rises to 2C. Mr. Brown said on Monday the talks were “at best flawed and at worst chaotic” and called for a reformed UN process. And he is expected to say in a podcast that a global deal should not be “held to ransom by a handful of countries.” Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has singled out China for vetoing an agreement on emissions but in an article in The Guardian, both he and Mr. Brown say a diluted deal was better than nothing at all.

BBC political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg says politicians were “pointing the finger” after the disappointment of the outcome of the summit. The prime minister will say in his podcast: “Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down these talks. Never again should we let a global deal to move towards a greener future be held to ransom by only a handful of countries.” He said lessons must be learned from the “tough negotiations” that took place in Copenhagen.     Continue reading

China and Indonesia welcome Copenhagen summit deal

BBC NEWS | 2009/12/20 | 10:40:27 GMT

Asian giants China and Indonesia have hailed the Copenhagen UN climate summit outcome, despite its cool reception from aid agencies and campaigners. Beijing’s foreign minister said it was a new beginning, and Indonesia’s leader said he was pleased with the result. Earlier, US President Barack Obama defended the accord he helped broker with China and other main powers. The non-binding pact, called the Copenhagen Accord, was not adopted by consensus at the summit in Denmark. Instead, after two weeks of frantic negotiations, the 193-nation conference ended on Saturday with delegates merely taking note of the deal.

BBC environment correspondent Richard Black says the accord looks unlikely to contain temperature rises to within the 2C (3.6F) threshold that UN scientists say is needed to avert serious climate change. It includes a recognition to limit temperature rises to less than 2C and promises to deliver $30bn (£18.5bn) of aid for developing nations over the next three years. The agreement outlines a goal of providing $100bn a year by 2020 to help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change. It also includes a method for verifying industrialised nations’ reduction of emissions. The US had insisted that China dropped its resistance to this measure.     Continue reading

ANALYSIS – Climate deal won’t cap warming, big gaps

Reuters | COPENHAGEN | Sat Dec 19, 2009 | 6:04am IST

A climate deal among world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama puts off many tough decisions until 2010 and sets the planet on track to overshoot goals for limiting global warming. Obama spoke of “the beginning of a new era of international action” but many other leaders said it was “imperfect”, “not sufficient” and at best a “modest success” if it gets formally adopted by all 193 nations in Copenhagen on Saturday. Problems faced by China and the United States — the world’s top emitters — stood in the way of a stronger deal for the world’s first pact to combat climate change since the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

In big advances, the deal adds a promise of $100 billion a year to help developing nations from 2020 and promotes the use of forests to soak up carbon dioxide. But it is unclear where the cash will come from. European leaders fell in reluctantly after Obama announced the deal with China, India, South Africa and Brazil. It was drafted by 28 nations ranging from OPEC oil producers to small island states. A drawback is that the deal is not legally binding — a key demand of many developing nations. The text instead suggests an end-2010 deadline for transforming it into a legal text that had long been expected in Copenhagen.     Continue reading

Main points of the Copenhagen Accord

Reuters | COPENHAGEN | Sat Dec 19, 2009 | 6:43am IST

U.S. President Barack Obama reached a climate agreement on Friday with India, South Africa, China and Brazil. The deal outlined fell far short of the ambitions for the Copenhagen summit. Here are key points from the agreement, which is titled “Copenhagen Accord.”

* LONG-TERM GOALS

“Deep cuts in global emissions are required according to science…with a view to reduce global emissions so as to hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius.”

* LEGALLY BINDING DEAL

A proposal attached to the accord calls for a legally binding treaty to be pinned down by the end of next year.

* FINANCING FOR POOR NATIONS

The text says: “Developed countries shall provide adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, technology and capacity-building to support the implementation of adaptation action in developing countries.” It mentions as particularly vulnerable and in need of help are the      Continue reading

US-led climate deal under threat in Copenhagen

Reuters | COPENHAGEN | Sat Dec 19, 2009 | 1:38pm IST

U.N. climate talks fell into crisis on Saturday after some developing nations angrily rejected a plan worked out by U.S. President Barack Obama, China and other fast growing economies for fighting global warming. Copenhagen, meant to be the finale of two years of negotiations, risked ending with no firm UN accords despite a summit of 120 world leaders on Friday who tried to work out the first climate blueprint since the U.N.’s 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Countries including Venezuela, Sudan and Tuvalu said they opposed a deal spearheaded on Friday in Copenhagen by the United States, China, India, South Africa and Brazil at the summit.

A final, all-night plenary session, chaired by Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and involving national negotiators, was punctuated by increasingly irritable exchanges. The deal would need unanimous backing to be adopted, and Britain said failure to adopt it would hold up funds pledged to poorer countries to fight the impact of climate change. Opponents said the document, which sets a target of limiting global warming to a maximum 2 degree Celsius rise over pre-industrial times and holds out the prospect of $100 billion in annual aid from 2020 for developing nations, was too weak.     Continue reading