Climate Talks Briefly Stall Over Protests From Developing Nations
China, India and other developing nations brought U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen to a temporary stop on Monday over demands that wealthy countries discuss much deeper cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions.
EU environment spokesman Andreas Carlgren told news agencies that informal talks at Copenhagen resolved the impasse.
The brief boycott has been characterized in media reports as a tactical move, designed to ratchet up the intensity of the talks as they enter a second week.
African delegates were among those to protest, releasing a statement declaring they were “outraged with the lack of transparency and democracy in the process.”
Reporter/producer Talea Miller, who is part of the NewsHour team reporting from Copenhagen, sent in this dispatch on the protests by African nations:
The backlash by the African bloc of countries in Copenhagen, as well as other developing countries that joined the movement, was set off Monday morning by accusations that the conference host was trying to sideline the Kyoto Protocol and diminish its importance at the summit. Kamel Djemouai, the Algerian chairman of the African nations group, accused wealthy countries of trying to “kill” the 1997 protocol.
South African senior negotiator Joanne Yawitch said, “We feel very strongly that we are in a two track process, that the negotiation around the Kyoto Protocol has equal significance” to the new agreement being discussed at the summit.
“There are many parties here that would like to see the Kyoto Protocol disappear,” said Yawitch.
Listen to Miller’s full interview with Yawtich here:
The move disrupted the conference and forced the cancellation of formal working groups, delaying negotiators who are trying to resolve technical issues before the arrival of world leaders later this week.
More than 190 countries are meeting to agree the outlines of a new global deal to combat climate change, hoping to seal a full treaty next year to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.
We’ll have more from the NewsHour team now on the ground in Copenhagen, including senior correspondent Ray Suarez, later today.