The head of the UN, Ban-Ki Moon; the Danish Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen; and American climate change leader, Al Gore, all attempted to downplay the leak of the ‘Danish Text’ which has riled developing countries due to portions of its content, such as allowing a climate fund to be controlled by the World Bank, seemingly overturning the Kyoto principle whereby developed countries are held responsible for climate change, and setting higher emission per capita standards for industrialized countries over developing countries even in forty years time.
Rasmussen, who is hosting the talks, referred to the ‘Danish Text’ as a draft, adding that “there are many different working papers”. The document was written by Rasmussen’s office with input from at least the UK, the US, and Australia.
Rasmussen said that it was the negotiations over the next few days—and not the ‘Danish Text’—that will determine the final agreement to be approved by the end of the conference.
In an interview with the Guardian, the newspaper that received the leaked text yesterday, UN head Ban Ki-Moon reiterated that he believed the negotiations would bring about a strong deal.
“I have been very consciously engaging with developing countries,” Ban told the Guardian. “Even if there have been some trust issues, we have been bridging this gap as much as we can. This is what I am going to continue to do.”
Ban said that he expected tougher emission targets from all industrialized nations, except the United States, since President Obama is still waiting on action from Congress. Ban also said that while the Kyoto concept of putting more responsibility on industrial countries for climate change would remain, developing countries with high emissions could not be ignored.
“China, India and South Korea have made it quite clear that they will have domestic regulations,” he said in the interview. “This is quite important even if they will not be internationally bound I am sure they will be domestically bound.”
Nobel Prize winner Al Gore has also attempted to downplay the importance of the ‘Danish Text’. In an interview with CNN, Gore said, “it’s not unusual during international negotiations for there to be multiple texts that are floated or leaked. I think it ought to be kept in perspective. I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on the leaked text this early in the process.”
(12/09/2009) On the first day of talks at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Kevin Conrad, Papua New Guinea’s Special Envoy and Ambassador for Environment and Climate Change, surprised many by calling for a ‘nuclear option’. The option would allow a document to be ratified by 75 percent of the conference’s nations, rather than the usual consensus required. It is thought the nuclear option would give more power to developing countries, since they far outnumber wealthy nations at the conference.
(12/08/2009) A document leaked late in the day at Copenhagen has threatened to further divide developing nations from wealthy countries during the conference in Denmark. The document, labeled as the ‘Danish-text’, is seen by many as sidelining poor countries by handing over climate financing to the World Bank, requiring developing countries to cut total emissions, and in forty years time still allowing wealthy countries to emit more than developing per capita.
(12/07/2009) At a press conference during the first day of the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, the European Union has stated it will not raise its emissions cuts from 20 percent to 30 percent by 2020 (over 1990 levels) unless the US and China go further in their cuts.