[The Telegraph, U.K.]



Estadao, Brazil

The Rich Show Their Hand at Copenhagen


"Prepared by Denmark with the endorsement of the U.S. and Britain, the mere preparation of this document makes it clear that the rich world refuses to pay the bill, both literally and figuratively, for the rapid deterioration of the global climate."




Translated By Brandi Miller


December 10, 2009


Brazil - Estadao - Original Article (Portuguese)


Is the world heating up? Is man the cause? And does it matter who caused it? The debate is fierce, and protesters, like those above in London at a demonstration of about 20,000, are making themselves heard.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Scientists present evidence that 2000-2009 was the warmest decade on record, Dec. 8, 00:00:42RealVideo

The executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Yvo de Boer, rushed to deny the importance of the draft declaration, prepared for the Copenhagen Conference by Denmark with the official endorsement of the U.S. and Britain, which was revealed by the London newspaper, The Guardian. It's a proposal that goes against the very spirit of the meeting, which has brought together delegations from 192 countries. The text concretizes the interests of the industrialized powers - the main emitters of the toxic gases responsible for raising the earth's temperature. Furthermore, it divides poor nations between the more and less vulnerable to the effects of global warming, and releases developed nations from the obligation of assuming long-term financial commitments to help the rest of the world mitigate and adapt to the consequences of the greenhouse effect.


In an attempt to place a heating pad on the ill-feeling provoked by the release of the 13-page draft that carries the fingerprints of the Danish prime minister, Lars Rasmussen, the host of the summit, De Boer, said that the proposal was nothing more than an "informal text," submitted for consultation before the summit - a trial balloon, in other words. In fact, the document circulated discretely last week between diplomats from a dozen countries, including Brazil. Given the general disapproval, it was shelved. But its mere preparation makes it clear that the rich world refuses to pay the bill, both literally and figuratively, for the rapid deterioration of the global climate. The so-called "Danish text" is a step backwards from what little has been done so far to prevent the worst.


The proposal would bury the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, the only international treaty that commits developed countries to targets for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases. The idea now is to make these compulsory for developing countries as well. Two years ago at the U.N. conference in Bali that paved the way to Copenhagen, there was an agreement in principle for voluntary targets for reducing emissions in emerging countries - with a guarantee of international financial assistance, regardless of their exposure to the effects of warming. The Danish alternative would reserve this aid only for the most vulnerable - to the tune of $10 billion annually from 2012 to 2015 - via the World Bank and not the United Nations. China's chief negotiator, Su Wei, calculated that this is the equivalent to $2 per human being. "With $2, you can't even buy a coffee in Copenhagen," he said.  



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Perversely, however, rich countries would have the right to emit more carbon per capita than other countries until 2050: 2.67 tons compared to 1.44 for the developing world. No wonder the chairman of the Group of 77, which brings is comprised of the developing countries, Lumumba Stanislas Dia Ping of Sudan, says that the document destroys the 1992 U.N. Climate Convention, the starting point for all debates on global warming. The goal is to prevent temperatures from rising by more than 2 percent by the end of the century. Therefore, the industrial powers would have until 2050 to cut between 25 and 40 percent of their emissions. The scheme of the rich countries is far from this. For its part, the group named BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) tried, but apparently was unable, to come to a consensus on an alternative proposal from China that in general retains the philosophy of the Kyoto Protocol, would establish a Global Climate Fund and a system for transferring anti-warming technology from rich countries to poor ones.


The two drafts illustrate the opposing positions on issues born of the conviction that global warming is a reality that results from human activity. The first question is when and how long it should take the advanced countries to cut their emissions. The second is whether and at what intensity emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil, should also do so. Finally, the third issue is how these countries can persuade the developed world to subsidize their transition to an economy that is much less dependent on carbon. It'll be a surprise if Copenhagen offers satisfactory answers to these dilemmas.


















































Posted by WORLDMEETS.US, Dec. 11, 4:36pm


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