Count down to Copenhagen

130 developing countries have signed a statement condemning what they see as developed countries’ attempts to derail negotiations on a successor to the Kyoto protocol, due to be concluded in Copenhagen in December. At climate talks in Bangkok, the G77 group, the UN’s largest intergovernmental organisation of developing states, accused developed countries of a ‘total rejection of their historical responsibilities’.

The US has signalled that it would like to see an end to a globally binding target and instead the introduction of national non-binding targets, pledged by countries themselves. This is seen by many as undermining the Kyoto protocol agreement.

The G77 group is concerned that developing countries will be expected to cut emissions, whilst developed countries may not have to; instead offsetting large amounts of their emissions.

Carol Browner, President Obama’s chief energy advisor, has separately said that the White House does not expect to see a US Climate Change Bill introduced this year. That the senate won’t vote on the Bill, which aims for 20% emissions cuts on 2005 levels by 2020, by the time of the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December, will undermine the US commitment to seeking an agreement on emissions cuts. The announcement has increased concern that a meaningful agreement will not be reached in Copenhagen.

Original articles: the Guardian, 5 October 2009