Saving Copenhagen, a deal at a time
Africa scales back demands:
In a deal brokered by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Ethiopian Prime Minister and African Union climate negotiator Meles Zenawi (and small island nations, it was assumed) would be willing to accept $100 billion per year till 2020 from developed countries to start with, as money for adaptation and emission reductions from 2013, to reach $50 billion per year by 2015 and $100 billion by 2020. As protests started outside, Zenawi implied Africa would not insist on government-to-government transfers, as it had been, settling instead for new methods like sale of emission rights and carbon taxes.
US offers money, not deal:
In carefully framed language, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said — without giving details — that the US would “participate” in a “common global fund” of $100 billion per year by 2020 for the poorest countries. She also announced an extension of the US’ stated emission cut of 17 per cent by 2020 — offering 30 per cent cut by 2025; 40 per cent by 2040 and 80 per cent by 2050, with a base year of 2005. Many expected US President Barack Obama to save the summit with a surprise announcement. US senators and policy experts on Thursday warned there would be a grand Obama deviation from stated US policy.
Mexico sets an example:
Mexico, which has already put out three climate-change policy documents, on Thursday announced a unilateral 30 per cent cut in emissions by 2020 and a green fund that business could access based on actual reductions. It was meant to set an example and push their big developing-country cousins: India and China.
Tuvalu says, keep us alive:
In a restrained, brief appeal, the Prime Minister of the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu said backroom deals and deviations from established negotiations were going to doom his country—the world’s fourth smallest at 26 sq km across eight islands and the first predicted to go under if the oceans rise due to global warming.
Prime Minister Apisai Ielemis called Clinton’s announcement “handing out carrots” and said he was “gravely concerned” about how the meeting had been run by the West and larger developing countries. While these nations tried to do deals over holding global temperatures to 2 degrees, his nation had no choice but to hold the line at 1.5 degrees, something that larger countries will not consider because that would make an agreement even harder.