Thursday, December 10, 2009
Rich nations accused of carbon colonialism over leaked 'Danish text'
by Carmelo Amalfi
COPENHAGEN will be remembered as the city that failed the world if it adopts a secret deal to sideline UN efforts to fight climate change, according to the Sudanese chairman of the G77 group representing 132 developing countries including China.
Lumumba Di-Aping told reporters on a day of accusations and threats by some delegates to leave the COP15 that the leaked draft agreement would destroy the Kyoto protocol by proposing to hand over effective control of climate change finance to the World Bank.
“This text is an extremely dangerous document for developing countries,” he said. “It’s a total violation of the principles of transparency and openness.
“This text does not even mention a single proposal from the G77 member States.”
The document sets unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for both developed and developing countries in 2050. It is understood to include proposals by the UK, US and Denmark and has only been shown to a handful of countries.
Danish officials are trying to play down the significance of the paper which they describe as a draft document issued to, “a number of people for the purpose of consultations”.
Di-Aping called on the Danish prime minister Lars Rasmussen to distinguish between his political career and ambitions and the need for a successful deal.
“The prime minister is desperate for success at any price,” he said. “This text is an insult to the elected president of COP15 (Danish climate minister Connie Hedegaard) because this text comes from the office of the prime minister.”
Di-Aping said that US president Barack Obama should join the Kyoto Protocol: “Global peace and security is not served by isolation and exceptionalism.”
US delegation chief Todd Stern said in a briefing later in the day the US would not join.
“We are not going to do Kyoto and we are not going to do something that is Kyoto by another name,” the special envoy for climate change said.
Singapore youth delegate Amira Karim told the COP15 she was concerned at the move.
“You have proposed a new framework that will overturn the balance of obligations and responsibilities enshrined in the UN framework convention on climate change.
“You have erected barriers to exclude your peers from influencing their own futures and in turn have subverted the very principle of inclusions and equality at the heart of the UN.
“This imposition without discussion is tantamount to carbon colonialism, a profoundly destructive development that we the youth are compelled to condemn.
“All countries should uphold and enhance the Kyoto Protocol.”