Deadlock in negotiations.
The possible failure to reach a broad climate consensus wasn’t made any easier by two of the major players, the U.S. and China, locking their horns.
Whilst China intimated yesterday evening that it would prefer a short political statement – demanding the U.S. both opens its wallet to finance preventative climate change measures in the Third World, and commit itself to explicit emission cuts – the Americans say they also expect developing countries to limit theirs.
These are promises Barack Obama can’t deliver, as long as Congress hasn’t said what they will agree to.
And today, it now also looks as though the Chinese may be playing both ways. Sources close to the negotiations told the Danish paper dr.dk that the possibility of further talks has been blocked by the big four developing countries – India, Brazil, South Africa, and China.
Arbeiderpartiet/FlickrNorway’s Labour (Ap) Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, wasn’t optimistic yesterday evening either, believing that any agreement might not be worth the paper it’s printed on.
“We may consider turning the deal down if it’s too weak. I’m concerned. There are many unanswered questions, and the result could be that it won’t be extensive enough,” he told the Norwegian press in Copenhagen yesterday, NTB writes.
Gro Harlem Brundtland said last week she expected more than just words, calling for figures, but the Stoltenberg fears these will be missing when it comes to emission reduction and climate measures.
“It’s a serious situation. We should really have come further by now, and had an agreement in place tomorrow.”
An agreement for all
And Trond Giske, the Labour Party’s (Ap) Minister for Trade and Industry, told Aftenposten there was little point in Norway closing down or phasing out polluting industries in the long-run, if similar ones cropped up in other parts of the world.
He stressed the importance of a climate agreement that involved every country, whilst Stoltenberg informed NTB that Norway believes every country should contribute more.
Arbeiderpartiet/FlickrThe Prime Minister also reiterated Brundtland’s belief that industrialised countries should take more of the burden regarding emission reductions, with the developing ones leaving the table carrying specific and binding figures of their own.
And at the same time, Stoltenberg mentioned the importance of reaching an agreement on financing CO2 reductions – something which the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen put him in charge of yesterday – with tailor-made solutions for poor countries.
But any final declaration must be unanimous, and Stoltenberg wouldn’t be drawn on whether or not Norway or the other countries would veto an unsatisfactory accord.
“It’s not just up to Norway to decide...But the summit won’t ratify a substandard deal. There’s a point where many countries, including Norway, will think that no agreement is better than an inferior one.”
According to NRK, the Danish COP15 committee say they have now given up hope of reaching any agreement.
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