Re: Aarde warmt op of kleine ijstijd?!
By Alessandro Vitelli and Kim Chipman
Tue Dec 06 16:51:27 GMT 2011
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-0 ... -cuts.html
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said a global warming treaty may be “beyond our reach” this week as India and China rejected pressure for developing nations to adopt mandatory pollution targets.
“We must be realistic about the opportunity of a breakthrough in Durban,” Ban said at UN climate talks in the South African port city today. “There are great economic troubles.”
India, speaking with the Basic negotiating group of countries that also includes South Africa, Brazil and China, said industrial nations should move first in cutting fossil fuel emissions. The comments marked a hardening of positions that reduces the scope for an agreement in time for the meeting’s conclusion on Dec. 9.
“Basic countries are not major polluters,” Indian Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said today in Durban, South Africa, where the talks are being held. “They are emerging market economies. They have a small footprint in the context of historical emissions.”
After nine days of meetings, envoys from more than 190 nations remain divided about how to extend limits on greenhouse gas emissions once the Kyoto Protocol expires next year. The 1997 treaty capped emissions for industrial nations. It included no targets for developing nations including China and India, which since then have become two of the three biggest polluters.
China vs U.S.
China, India and Brazil are pushing industrial nations to extend Kyoto, saying any climate pact must recognize the historical responsibility of the nations that caused the problem to act first. The U.S., Canada, Japan and Russia say they want a treaty that requires cuts from all parties. The European Union says it will extend Kyoto if all nations agree to adopt a legally-binding treaty by 2015.
“The United States is setting an unreasonably high bar for reaching a comprehensive agreement,” said Tim Gore, climate policy adviser at Oxfam. “They are talking about legal parity with developing countries. They are talking about it because they know it can’t be delivered.”
As ministers and heads of state joined to work on conclusions for the talks, the developing countries stepped up resistance to taking on limits for fossil fuel emissions. The biggest stumbling block was the question whether developing nations would be treated the same as industrial ones or whether they would remain outside a system of cuts.
“The time has come to address the thorny political issues before us,” said Christiana Figueres, the UN diplomat leading the meeting.
Brazil has “no problem” with devising a timeline to a deal, so long as it doesn’t prejudge whether that eventual arrangement sets legally binding targets for all nations, said Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, the nation’s ambassador to the talks.
“I cannot simply say now that we will agree with that if we don’t know now what will be the conditions,” Figueiredo said. “We have no problem in looking at a timeline that will take us from here to there. The structure of that post-2020 framework will be solved in the negotiations.”
$100 Billion Aid
Developing countries also expressed concern that promises made at previous meetings in Copenhagen and Cancun, Mexico, haven’t been kept. They want quicker action on dispensing the $100 billion in aid and a Green Climate Fund to start working and assistance for adapting to the impact of climate change.
“We are deeply disappointed that the fast-track funding promised to us in Copenhagen has to large extent failed to materialize,” said Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. This, he said, puts the entire process “at risk in the eyes of our continent.”
The U.S. says it won’t adopt a legally binding climate treaty unless developing nations are required to make reductions too. Todd Stern, the nation’s lead envoy at the talks, said he didn’t think he heard anything new in China’s proposal to consider cuts after 2020 if certain conditions were met.
“It’s not my impression that there has been any change at all in the Chinese position,” Stern told journalists after a meeting with his counterpart from Beijing. While developing nations are fixed on renewing Kyoto, the main priority for the U.S. is building on the agreement made last year in Cancun, which has voluntary emissions cuts from more nations.
“I don’t think that the Kyoto architecture, a sort of firewall between all developed and all developing countries including all the biggest ones, is a sort of tenable architecture for the future,” Stern said.
To contact the reporters on this story: Alessandro Vitelli in London at firstname.lastname@example.org; Kim Chipman in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at firstname.lastname@example.org