Danish negotiating text evokes anger

Publish date: December 9, 2009

Written by: Tone Foss Aspevoll

Translated by: Charles Digges

COPENHAGEN – Bellona says a Danish proposal to the Copenhagen negotiating text presents emissions cuts figures that are too small,, while at the same time underscoring that developing countries must also commit themselves to greenhouse gas emissions – an issue that sparked stark controversy in the first full day of the Conference of Parties 15 (COP15).

The Danish draft presented today called for developing countries to also commit to emissions cuts, something that the Kyoto Protocol, which COP15 is trying to find a replacement for, did not require of them. The text provoked indignation by suggesting that the current division of developed and developing nations be abandoned, and rather proposes that a new differentiation between the two be found.

“The draft puts the results of climate change in danger,” said Sudan’s Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, according Norway’s NTB television. Di-Aping is the leader of the G77 group of developing, which, along with the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS), held strong sway at the summit on Wednesday.

The Guardian published the Danish draft negotiating text.

“This is unfortunately the reality,” said Di-Aping.

Svend Søyland, Bellona’s international advisor, agreed, saying, “Unfortunately is the reality. Developing countries, especially in-between countries, must pay cuts. if we are to prevent global warming from exceeding  2 degrees Celsius.”
Søyland is in Copenhagen following the Copenhagen climate negotiations toward a new, international climate agreement. He underscored that this is currently a big difference between G-77 nations, which consist of both poor nations like Sudan and the Pacific and Polynesian nations, as well as richer countries like China, India and Brazil.

One of Bellona’s representatives present in Copenhagen is also an observer in the Norwegian delegation.

Host nations proposal

As the host nation for the United Nations climate summit, Denmark has had the opportunity to present a negotiating text. This should have been the text UN negotiators would have had ready during final preparatory meetings in Barcelona in November before talks their crumbled. It therefore fell to Denmark to come up with draft negotiating text.
At a press conference Wednesday, Norwegian Negotiator Hanne Bjurstrøm defended the Danish initiative to speed up negotiations, and told the newspaper Adresseavisen that, “I think the Danes are doing a good job as a host country for the climate change negotiations when they try to speed up the process that has been very slow until now.”

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For information on this issue, please contact Tone Foss Aspevoll, Bellona’s head of information at :+4791720267

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