Copenhagen Watch: Part One
After a week of tumultuous protests, controversy, and political sparring, the UN Climate talks in Copenhagen have produced a an official negotiating text from which world leaders will continue to negotiate next week. The “long-term action plan text” commits developed countries to emissions cuts of 25-45% by 2020. This broad range is more than most rich countries have proposed thus far, and will require leaders like Obama to come to the table with more serious emissions reduction commitments.
However, many points remain unresolved and are likely to spark heated debate next week, including:
- How to incorporate forest protection initiatives into the deal. The currently proposed UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation program (REDD) faces opposition because of the program’s inherent weaknesses.
- Climate financing for developing countries. The text requires developing countries to cut emissions between 15-30% by 2020, but offers not clear mechanism for providing technology or climate mitigation assistance. The EU has already committed €7bn a year for the next three years, but the U.S. has yet to propose a figure.
- The role of China and India. As some of the world’s top polluters, where to these nations fall in the developing/developed country scheme? Do they need financial assistance on the same level as poorer nations?
DC Progressive will continue to report on next week’s talks, during which these issues will hopefully be resolved.