CLIMATE -- December 9, 2009 at 1:30 PM EDT
Tempers Rise over Danish Text at Climate Summit
Tension between rich and poor countries hovered over climate negotiations in Copenhagen Wednesday, as developing nations fumed over the leak of a climate document drafted by Denmark.
The 13-page document, known as the Danish text, was drawn up outside the United Nations framework but the U.N. leader of the summit, Yvo de Boer, downplayed it Wednesday, describing it as an informal paper that circulated as a "basis for discussion."
The Danish text does not detail emissions pledges, but does indicate setting a timeline by which developing countries would peak their emissions, while positioning developed countries to have substantial power over billions of dollars for developing countries to make climate change adaptations and reduce emissions.
The text was called a "serious violation" by the Sudanese ambassador to the Group of 77 developing countries, Lumumba Stanislaus Dia Ping. He told a news conference Wednesday the document was aimed at "preserving and advancing developed countries' economic dominance and supremacy."
"The Empire has always relentlessly and ruthlessly grabbed natural resources," he said, arguing the proposed agreement would "secure 60 percent of the global atmospheric space for 20 percent of the world's wealthiest nations. It is a scramble and a rush of extraordinary magnitude."
Bolivian delegate Angelica Navarro Llanos expressed frustration over the exclusive group involved in the draft, according to Reuters.
"How many countries have participated in this document? Are there just 20 to 30 countries who will decide for the whole of humanity?" he said.
An improptu protest broke out late Tuesday by representatives of African NGOs after word of the agreement spread through the summit, despite assurance by Yvo de Boer in a statement that "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."
Meanwhile, climate activist and former Vice President Al Gore played down the significance of the leaked document as par for the course in international talks.
"It's not unusual during international negotiations for there to be multiple texts that are floated or leaked. I think it ought to be kept in perspective. I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the leaked text this early in the process," Gore said in an interview with CNN.