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
Reuters | NEW DELHI | Wed Dec 23, 2009 | 5:24pm IST
The grouping of China, India, Brazil and South Africa has emerged as a significant force in Copenhagen and they could lead the way in future negotiations, the head of the U.N. climate panel said on Wednesday. A climate change meeting ended last week in Copenhagen with a non-legally binding political agreement at the last moment between the United States and the big developing countries — China, India, Brazil and South Africa that forms the BASIC group. The next climate change meet is in Mexico next year, where countries hope to reach a legally binding agreement.
“What has happened politically which is very significant is the emergence of this grouping of Brazil, South Africa, India and China,” Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in New Delhi. “Undoubtedly whatever agreement comes into existence by the time Mexico completes its conference of the parties, will necessarily have to deal with the power of this group (BASIC).” In November, the BASIC countries forged a united front in Beijing to put pressure on developed countries in Copenhagen. India said the BASIC countries were successful in thwarting global pressure to agree to a legally-binding emissions cut. Continue reading
BBC News | 2009/12/22 | 08:28:13 GMT
China has dismissed claims made by a British minister that it “hijacked” efforts to reach an agreement at the climate summit in Copenhagen. Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband had accused China of vetoing two agreements on limiting emissions. Beijing’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the accusations were a political plot made by leaders who wanted to shirk their own obligations. The summit ended without the 192 nations reaching a binding agreement. The delegates simply committed to “taking note” of a deal recognising the need to limit temperature rises to 2C. Jiang Yu did not mention Mr. Miliband by name, but in comments reported by the Xinhua state news agency, she said statements from “certain British politicians” were “plainly a political scheme.” The aim, she said, was “to shirk responsibilities that should be assumed towards developing countries, and to provoke discord among developing countries. This scheme will come to nothing,”
Writing in Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Sunday, Mr. Miliband said the vast majority of countries wanted a legally-binding treaty to protect the planet, but it seemed that four or five countries at the summit had been keen to “shelve the accord.” He said China had vetoed two proposed agreements on emissions cuts, “despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries.” Ms Jiang said Mr. Miliband and others behind the editorial should “correct their mistakes, fulfill their obligations to developing countries in an earnest way and stay away from activities that hinder the international community’s co-operation in coping with climate change.” Continue reading
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
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
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
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