Copenhagen Climate Change Conference: Day 8 Recap

Updated On
Copenhagen, Denmark

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After a brief boycott of the UN Climate talks on Monday, poor countries agreed to resume talks.

The European Union says poor countries have stopped their boycott of climate change negotiations and have found a solution to their dispute with rich nations.

Informal talks resolved the impasse between rich and poor nations ending the day long boycott, which was started by African countries and backed by 135 developing countries including China and India.

The boycott disrupted efforts to forge a pact on global warming, delaying the frantic work of negotiators who are trying to resolve technical issues before more than 110 world leaders arrive in Copenhagen later in the week. It appeared aimed at shifting the focus of UN Climate talks to the responsibilities of industrial countries and making greenhouse gas emission cuts the first item for the leaders to discuss.

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 but made no such binding demands on developing nations.

The United States had withdrawn from Kyoto over concerns it would harm the US economy and China, India and other major greenhouse gas emitters were not required to take action. China is now the world’s largest greenhouse gas polluter.

It was the second time African envoys 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.

Canada’s Environment Minister Jim Prentice said the dispute was setback to negotiations.

“We have lost some time. There is no doubt about that” Prentice said “It is not particularly helpful, but all in all it is our responsibility to get on with it and continue to negotiate”

In other developments:

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is warning that if negotiators at the climate conference in Copenhagen leave the tough issues to global leaders to resolve, the world risks have a weak or no deal.

Ban appealed to negotiators to redouble their efforts, stop posturing or blaming others and reach a compromise. He told reporters on Monday he is reasonably optimistic the UN Conference will end with a politically binding deal that is fair, comprehensive and equitable.
The White House announced on Monday a new program drawing funds from international partners to spend 350 million US dollars over five years to supply developing nations with clean energy technology.

The program will contribute to distribution of solar power alternatives for homes including sun powered lanterns, supply of cleaner equipment and appliances a push to fund and put in place renewable systems in the worlds poorer nations.

When the first heads of state arrive on Copenhagen on Wednesday, they must have an agreed text to look at, says India’s environment minister Jairam Ramesh.

The Economic Times of India is reporting that Ramesh “categorically” insists that an agreed text on global deal reaching beyond the present period of the Kyoto Protocol must be worked out by the end of Tuesday December 15.

  • Mark Spowart

    A writer and photographer, Spowart has publication credits in Canada, United States, Europe and Norway with such publications as The Globe & Mail, The National Post, Sun Media, Canwest News, and Canada News Wire.

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