By Ashwani Kumar
| December 8th 2009 09:32 PM | Print
Climate summit in turmoil over Danish proposal Buzz Up Share
Copenhagen, Dec 9 (IANS) The Dec 7-18 climate summit was thrown into turmoil on its second evening as developing countries came together to condemn a Danish draft of the final Copenhagen declaration.
The existing UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol (KP) place the onus of mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) squarely upon industrialised countries, as almost all the GHG - mostly carbon dioxide - in the atmosphere now has been put there by them.
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But in a significant departure from that, the Danish draft proposal asks developing countries - except the least developed countries - to 'commit to nationally appropriate mitigation actions, including actions supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity-building.
The developing countries' individual mitigation action could in aggregate yield a [Y percent] deviation in  from business as usual and yielding their collective emissions peak before [20XX] and decline thereafter. The square brackets reflect points to be negotiated.
Condemning the whole idea, Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, Sudan's ambassador to the UN, said here Tuesday evening (early Wednesday India time) that the Danish proposal 'merges the UNFCCC and the KP and destroys both It creates new sets of obligations for developing countries it tries to have finance flows from South to North.'
Sudan is now the chair of the Group of 77 countries, which, together with China, negotiates climate treaties as a bloc on behalf of almost all developing countries.
The Danish proposal 'tries to divide vulnerable and culpable countries in the developing world to preserve the economic supremacy of advanced countries,' Di-Aping charged while addressing a press conference.
'It robs developing countries of their just, equitable and fair share of atmospheric space.'
India has also been quite upset with the Danish proposal, which was circulated Nov 27. Reacting to one point in the text that sets a date by which major developing countries would start reducing their GHG emissions, the so-called 'peaking year', Environment Minister had threatened that India and other developing countries would walk out of the summit if any attempt was made to push this through.
Together with China, Brazil and South Africa, India had promptly cobbled together a counter-proposal, the so-called BASIC text.
The Danish government had seen the reaction to its proposal and had decided to disown it. Denmark's Environment Minister Connie Hedegaard had said Monday that it was not a proposal but a 'discussion paper that had been withdrawn'. The UNFCCC secretariat has also been at pains to point out that this was not a proposal submitted to it officially.
A member of the Indian government delegation told IANS that in a pre-summit meeting here last week, 'numbered copies' of the Danish proposal had been circulated to some countries - including India - and then taken back after the meeting, a highly unusual move.
Despite all this, the publication of its text Tuesday in the British newspaper The Guardian got the controversy flared up.
Di-Aping said G77 would not walk out of the summit over this issue 'because we can't afford failure here. We have to find a way for an equitable and just deal to save the world'.
'However, we'll not sign an inequitable deal, we won't accept a deal that condemns 80 percent of the world population to further suffering and injustice.'