COPENHAGEN: The UN’s climate conference was deadlocked today on the key issues, with a new draft text lacking any figures on targets for limiting global warming, as world leaders raised the pressure for results.
The latest proposal gave no figures for a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, a peak for these emissions, an intended limit to global warming, nor on financing for poor countries exposed to climate change.
These core questions are being debated in parties of ministers, in the hope of brokering a consensus by Friday, when the deal will be put to leaders from around the world.
With the 12-day meeting so far marred by procedural wrangles and finger-pointing, the arrival of some heavyweight leaders was intended to inject a shot of adrenaline into proceedings.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd and Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva were among
those expected in the Danish capital in a bid to bring an end to the deadlock.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon arrived
in Copenhagen this morning having warned that “time is running out” for a deal and
that failure would have “potentially catastrophic consequence.” The summit, which reaches its climax on Friday when 120 heads of state
huddle in the Danish capital, is billed as one of the most important gatherings of the post-World War II era.
Its goal is to agree an outline deal of national pledges to curb carbon emissions and set up a mechanism to provide billions of dollars in help for poor countries in the firing line of climate change. If the surge in greenhouse gas emissions is untamed, Earth will be on course within the next decade for warming that will inflict drought, flood, storms and rising sea levels on tens of millions of people, say scientists.
But deep divisions remain over how to split the tab.
are demanding their rich counterparts slash their carbon emissions by at least
40 per cent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels.
Emerging economic giants such as China and India say they are willing to promise voluntary measures to slow their forecast surges in emissions but are under pressure to be more ambitious and be subject to international scrutiny.
The draft states: “The developed country parties must take the lead in combating climate change as they were responsible for the largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases.” But the text added that the “sources and scale of financial contributions” to fund the war against global warming were “to be elaborated.”
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged the West was expected to take the lead, but said all countries had to play their part.
“This needs to be a common effort. All major economies, developed and developing,
need to take robust and transparent action to reduce their carbon emissions,” she wrote in the International Herald Tribune newspaper.
Delegates say behind-closed-doors negotiations have been marred by bitter exchanges between the Americans and Chinese, with Beijing accusing Washington of “playing tricks”.
Developing nations have complained of being excluded from key negotiations.
A version of this article appears in print on December 15, 2009 of The Himalayan Times.
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