Day three from the COP
A small island in the Pacific – Tuvalu – has caused a dramatic halt to negotiations at the climate summit today. The island state, which actively promotes climate protection, said that it wants legally binding commitments to climate change and not a watered-down political agreement.
Tuvalu’s move was prompted by the leak yesterday of a draft climate text which has sparked much criticism from developing countries.
Rémi Gruet from EWEA who is attending the summit, described an atmosphere of chaos and said he does not know what will happen next.
But on the same day, Danish news site Politiken reported that Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen denied that Denmark put the paper forward.
“Denmark has not presented a paper. If we do so, it will be on the basis of negotiations over the next few days”, he said.
Developing countries collectively say they stand to be bruised by the text. Lumumba Stanislas Dia Ping, leader of the G77, seemingly accurately said the text “threatened the success” of the talks.
In a separate development, Business Europe, an association of businesses and employers, is demanding that carbon cutting commitments for 2020 be no higher than 20%. Any amount above this level would harm European jobs, they say.
Gruet said such talk comes from those in the climate denial camp. Business Europe includes some of the biggest polluters in Europe – such as from the coal, gas, oil and paper sectors – and they are here to protect their business interests, Gruet said.
The EU remains prepared to raise its CO₂ cutting effort to 30% by 2020, up from its current commitment of 20%, Gruet added.
Meanwhile, some reports in the press state that the EU is playing hardball and has withdrawn its 30% offer.
Attention among delegates is also focussed on the US. President Barack Obama has now decided to come to the summit next Wednesday, along with around 100 world leaders, but his chief climate negotiator, Todd Stern, arrived today.
Stern has reportedly rebutted China’s call for the US to do more.
“The United States accepts its historical role in greenhouse gas emissions, but it is wrong to talk about fault and debt. We want the strongest possible agreement in Copenhagen, but it cannot be a free round for China and the big developing countries,” Stern said.
Lastly, there’s more news on the turbine standing outside the Bella Centre: the turbine provides enough energy to supply 299 Danish households with emission free electricity, or, enough energy to recharge 44 million iPhones.