Poor Nations’ Fury Over Western Eco-Imperialism

  • Date: 09/12/09

CNN: A leaked document known as the “Danish text” has driven an even deeper wedge between rich and poor countries embroiled in U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen. Developing countries have reacted angrily to the text, alleging developed countries have worked behind closed doors to draft a document slanted in their favor.

“It’s an incredibly imbalanced text intended to subvert, absolutely and completely, two years of negotiations. It does not recognize the proposals and the voice of developing countries,” said Lumumba Stanislaus Dia Ping, the Sudanese ambassador to the Group of 77 developing countries.

China also criticized portions of the text that refer to a “peak” year for carbon emissions from developing countries.

“The developing countries’ individual mitigation action could in aggregate yield a [Y percent] deviation in [2020] from business as usual and yielding their collective emissions peak before [20XX] and decline thereafter,” the document says. It is expected the figures represented by X and Y will be added during the course of negotiations.

“It is unfair to set such a peak target for developing countries which are still in the stage of industrialization,” said Su Wei, Deputy Head of the Chinese climate delegation.

The U.N. body hosting the talks has played down the document’s importance, stressing that it is an “informal paper” put forward by the Danish prime minister.

“This was an informal paper ahead of the conference given to a number of people for the purposes of consultations. The only formal texts in the U.N. process are the ones tabled by the Chairs of this Copenhagen conference at the behest of the Parties,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The text proposes “developed country parties commit to deliver upfront public financing for 2010-201[2] corresponding on average to [10] billion USD annually for early action, capacity building, technology and strengthening adaptation and mitigation readiness in developing countries.”

The draft text also proposes that the money is distributed by a “Climate Fund” by a board with “balanced representation.”

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Wealthy nations accused of ‘carbon colonialism’

The Times, 8 December 2009

Britain and its partners at the Copenhagen climate summit were accused of 21st century “carbon colonialism” today over a draft agreement that developing nations say would discriminate against them.

The so-called “Danish text” was leaked yesterday and prompted an angry reaction from the G77 bloc of developing nations, which warned that its members would not sign an “inequitable” deal when the conference ends with a summit of world leaders next Friday.

The G77’s chair, Lumumba Stanislaus Di Aping of Sudan, went on the attack again today, telling journalists that the Danish text “seemed to secure 60 per cent of the global atmospheric space for 20 per cent of the world’s wealthiest nations”.

Mr Di Aping was especially critical of the Danish Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, whom he accused of being desperate to achieve a deal at any price.

He issued an appeal to Barack Obama, who is scheduled to arrive in Copenhagen next Friday, not to join in any attempt to strong-arm developing nations into signing a deal that would leave their countries exposed to the ravages of global warming.

“We humbly ask of President Obama that the new dawn of multilaterialism that he promised should not be simply business as usual – the West prevailing at the expense of the rest of the developing countries,” Mr Di Aping added.

European delegates pointed out that the text in question was dated November 27 and had never been formally tabled. “It’s a storm in a teacup,” one said.

Others said that the G77 was simply trying to head off any deal that would oblige developing nations to commit to carbon emission limits. Under the Kyoto Protocol, they are exempt from any such obligations.

The text also came in for criticism on the floor of the conference, where a Singaporean activist, Amira Karim, won loud applause after attacking it for overturning and subverting normal UN principles. “This imposition without discussion is tantamount to carbon colonialism,” she declared.

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