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.
According to a press release by the Tropical Forest Group “[the nuclear option] would fundamentally change the climate change negotiations on many far-reaching levels.” The option will be considered later this week said Conference Chairman Connie Hedegaard.
This is not the first time Conrad has made noise at a climate change conference. In 2007 also as a representative for Papua New Guinea, Conrad famously chastised the United States when they attempted to block a measure, saying, “If for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please get out of the way.” The US eventually backed down and agreed to fall in line with the international community.
Conrad is also the Executive Director for the Coalition for Tropical Forests.
(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.
(12/03/2009) James Hansen, one of the world’s foremost climatologists, told the Guardian today that he believes the Copenhagen talks are flawed to the point where failure of the talks may be the best way forward. “The approach that is being talked about is so fundamentally wrong that it would be better to reassess,” Hansen said.