Copenhagen, We Have a Problem

From TimesOnline UK – Copenhagen stalls decision on catastrophic climate change for six years

The key decision on preventing catastrophic climate change will be delayed for up to six years if the Copenhagen summit delivers a compromise deal which ignores advice from the UN’s science body.
World leaders will not agree on the emissions cuts recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and are likely instead to commit to reviewing them in 2015 or 2016.
The delay will anger developing countries who, scientists say, will face the worst effects of climate change despite having contributed relatively little of the man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
A draft text published by the UN says that there should be a review in 2016, which could result in an “update of the long-term global goal for emissions reductions as well as of the adequacy of commitments and actions”.
The Times has learnt that negotiators from developed countries are planning to use the idea of a review to justify failing to agree the 25-40 per cent cut in the 1990 level of emissions by 2020, recommended by the IPCC.
Even the most ambitious provisional offers made by all the countries amount to a reduction of only 18 per cent.
Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister, said leaders would be unable to deliver a deal in line with what the IPCC had recommended. Read the rest.

From the BBC –
Copenhagen climate summit negotiations ‘suspended’
Negotiations at the UN climate summit have been suspended after developing countries withdrew their co-operation.
Delegations were angry at what they saw as moves by the Danish host government to sideline talks on more emission cuts under the Kyoto Protocol. Read the rest.

AP story in the Houston Chronicle –
Developing countries boycott UN climate talks
COPENHAGEN — China, India and other developing nations boycotted U.N. climate talks Monday, bringing negotiations to a halt with their demand that rich countries discuss much deeper cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions.
Representatives from 135 developing countries said they refused to participate in any formal working groups at the 192-nation summit until the issue was resolved. The developing countries want to extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which imposed penalties on rich nations if they did not comply with its strict emissions limits.
The African-led move was a setback for the Copenhagen talks, which were already faltering over long-running disputes between rich and poor nations over emissions cuts and financing for developing countries to deal with climate change.
However, the move was largely seen as a ploy to shift the agenda to the responsibilities of the industrial countries and make emissions reductions the first item for discussion when world leaders begin arriving Tuesday.
“I don’t think the talks are falling apart, but we’re losing time,” said Kim Carstensen, of the World Wildlife Fund. The developing countries “are making a point.”
The dispute came as the conference entered its second week, and only days before more than 100 world leaders, including President Barack Obama, were scheduled to arrive in Copenhagen.
“Nothing is happening at this moment,” Zia Hoque Mukta, a delegate from Bangladesh, told The Associated Press. He said developing countries have demanded that conference president Connie Hedegaard of Denmark bring the industrial nations’ emissions targets to the top of the agenda before talks can resume.
Poor countries, supported by China, say Hedegaard had raised suspicion that the conference was likely to kill the Kyoto Protocol. The United States withdrew from Kyoto over concerns that it would harm the U.S. economy and that China, India and other major greenhouse gas emitters were not required to take action.
“We are seeing the death of the Kyoto Protocol,” said Djemouai Kamel of Algeria, the head of the 50-nation Africa group.
It was the second time the Africans have disrupted the climate talks. At the last round of negotiations in November, the African bloc forced a one-day suspension until wealthy countries agreed to spell out what steps they will take to reduce emissions.
Go to the Chronicle to read the rest.

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