December 08, 2009
Leaked to the Guardian the document was allegedly crafted by Denmark with input from the United States and the UK.
While the document sets out that wealthy countries will create a fund to help developing countries adapt to climate change, monies from this fund would be contingent on developing countries allowing emissions reductions to be monitored. The controls of the fund—which would start with 10 billion dollars from wealthy nations—would also be handed over to the World Bank, a move developing countries oppose since they would like to see the UN oversee the finances.
Children in Tsianaloka (Manambolo), Madagascar. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Perhaps most unsettling of all for poorer countries, the document specifies that by 2050 wealthy countries be allowed to emit 2.67 tons per person, while developing countries would be only allowed to emit 1.44 tons per person.
"Like ants in a room full of elephants, poor countries are at risk of been squeezed out of the climate talks in Copenhagen," Antonio Hill, the Oxfam climate adviser, told the press. "As the talks ramp up and the big players put forward their proposals for the deal, it is vitally important that vulnerable countries are part of the debate."
Furthermore, environmentalists and activists says the document does not go far enough to ensure the world won't face warming of 2 degrees Celsius, though this is set out as a goal in the document.
Developing nations fear that the document will be forced on them. Perhaps to give them a better hand in negotiations, Kevin Conrad of Papua New Guinea yesterday called for a 'nuclear option', which means that instead of a consensus being needed for an agreement, a majority of only 75 percent would be required.
However, despite frustrations from developing countries over parts of the document's content, the real test will be how flexible wealthy countries are in negotiations over the next two weeks.
Conference chairman Connie Hedegaard attempted yesterday—before the document was leaked—to downplay the importance of any emerging early documents.
"There are many different kinds of texts circulating but the draft text that might eventually […] be accepted here, that would be at a later stage to sort of circulate," she said.
Past and projected CO2 emissions for countries, 1990-2030. The Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Information Administration's (EIA) forecasts for emissions from energy use until 2030.
Europe says US and China emission targets don't go far enough
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Profile of the carbon footprint of the global poor: the challenge of alleviating poverty and fighting global warming
(12/07/2009) Two of the world's most serious issues—poverty and climate change—are interconnected. With a rise in one's income there usually comes a rise in one's carbon footprint, thereby threatening the environment. Wealthy nations have the highest per capita carbon footprints, while developing nations like India and China—which are experiencing unprecedented economic growth—are becoming massive contributors of greenhouse gases. However, it is those who have the smallest carbon footprint—the world's poor—who currently suffer most from climate change. Food crises, water shortages, extreme weather, and rising sea levels have all hit the poor the hardest.
World requires radical new economic models to fight poverty and mitigate global warming
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