Africa makes first draft version of UNCCC treaty, with harder goals

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Monday, December 14, 2009

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, after four days of negotiations, Africa countries have made the first draft version of future possible treaty, to replace the 1997 Kyoto protocol. Africa leaders demand 5% of GDP of developed world citizens to be given as a finance to developing countries for struggle with global warming. Along with this, developing countries expect rich countries to increase their emissions cuts goals.

Funding for developed countries was previously expected to be 130 billion US dollars. The new proposal is about 11 times larger, according to 2008 GDP estimates. In an interview in Copenhagen, China’s representative Su Wei commented, "The developed countries need to speed up the process and come forward with more ambitious targets by 2020."

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Many nations offered emissions cuts pledges, which vary from 4% to 17% cuts by 2020, compared with 1990 levels. The Africa's draft proposes a goal of 65% cut for every developed country. Though the new goals are harder, Anders Turesson, European Union representative at UNCCC, doubted in the ability of them to prevent 2-degree warming. In an interview in Copenhagen, he said, "We are concerned about the environmental integrity of these texts and we do not see how they will deliver the 2-degree target. Hopefully we will be able to step up our ambitions as we move forward in the negotiations."

British Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband criticised the draft text for absence of a certain temperature raise threshold, said that the new texts "are shorter texts than we’ve had before, which we can negotiate around because the imperative here is to get on with it and get to an ambitious solution".

Bloomberg news company interviewed several people from New York environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Its policy director David Doniger expects most difficulties to come at the end of the UNCCC, when Barack Obama and Wen Jiabao arrive at the summit: "It’s really come down to a set of difficult issues. It’s a lot easier for lower-level negotiators to come to an impasse and go home. It’s not easy for senior officials and definitely not easy for heads of government." As international climate policy director of NRDC Jake Schmidt commented similarly, "It’s going to be a tense negotiation over emissions cuts for developed countries."

Sources

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  • Footnote: 2008 GDP estimates multiplied by 0.05: EU $762 million; US $722.1 million; total $1484 million - from Wikipedia articles on US and EU