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Monday, December 14, 2009

Copenhagen climate talks: No deal we're out of time, warns Obama...

Copenhagen climate talks: No deal, we're out of time, Obama warns:

"Barack Obama acknowledged yesterday that time had run out to secure a legally binding climate deal at the Copenhagen summit in December and threw his support behind plans to delay a formal pact until next year at the earliest.

During a hastily convened meeting in Singapore, the US president supported a Danish plan to salvage something from next month's meeting by aiming to make it a first-stage series of commitments rather than an all-encompassing protocol.

Postponing many contentious decisions on emissions targets, financing and technology transfer until the second-stage, leaders will instead try to reach a political agreement in Copenhagen that sends a strong message of intent.

While this falls short of hopes that the meeting would lock in place a global action plan to replace the Kyoto protocol, it recognises the lack of progress in recent preparatory talks and the hold-ups of climate legislation in the US Senate.

Michael Froman, US deputy national security adviser for economic affairs, said: "There was a realistic assessment ... by the leaders that it was unrealistic to expect a full internationally legally binding agreement to be negotiated between now and when Copenhagen starts in 22 days."

Britain's climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, tried to put a brave face on Obama's move, insisting it is still possible to reach a broad political agreement on carbon emissions targets, but senior Labour MPs admitted they feared the necessary momentum for a detailed agreement would be sucked from the Copenhagen event if politicians know a deal has been postponed to the next scheduled meeting in Mexico City next year.

Gordon Brown had pledged to go to Copenhagen to help broker a deal, insisting there could be no plan B. Miliband again todayurged Obama to attend.

There will now be intense discussions on whether the political agreement at Copenhagen contains any detailed meaningful commitments.

Denmark's prime minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the host and chairman of the climate talks, flew overnight to Singapore to pitch the deferral plan to 19 leaders, including Obama and China's president, Hu Jintao, at an unscheduled event during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. He insisted that the Copenhagen talks could still set political targets and outline commitments.

"Given the time factor and the situation of individual countries we must, in the coming weeks, focus on what is possible and not let ourselves be distracted by what is not," Rasmussen told the leaders. "The Copenhagen agreement should finally mandate continued legal negotiations and set a deadline for their conclusion."

Obama spoke in support of the proposal, cautioning the group not to let the "perfect be the enemy of the good", Froman said.

The proposal by Denmark would buy time for the US Senate to pass carbon-capping legislation, allowing the Obama administration to bring a 2020 target and financing pledges to the table at a UN climate meeting in mid-2010."

So it appears that Copenhagen may have come a year too early? We should know the answer to that question very soon.

Read more here

Acknowledgements: is part of the Guardian Environment Network.

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At December 20, 2009 at 12:31 AM , Anonymous John at Cell Phone Recycling said...

I just hope that solution will come out soon. Climate change is major problem that will give us huge problem.

At December 30, 2009 at 3:38 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I agree a decision must be made soon!


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