/ languages

Choisir langue

Climate change conference - final negotiations

Leaders arrive as countdown begins

Article published on the 2009-12-17 Latest update 2009-12-27 13:29 TU

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the media in Copenhagen on Thursday(Photo: Reuters)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the media in Copenhagen on Thursday
(Photo: Reuters)

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Thursday that negotiations were advancing "at a snail's pace". Rudd said the current negotiating text has "91 square-bracketed areas of disagreement".

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday in Copenhagen that it was necessary to "move up a gear", and requested a meeting of all major leaders on Thursday night.

The United States is still demanding clauses in any agreement that would allow countries to monitor whether countries are respecting any agreed limits. China however does not wish to have external monitoring of its climate policy.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that, "if there is not even a commitment to pursue transparency, that's kind of a deal-breaker for us".

She was speaking ahead of the arrival of US President, Barack Obama.

Surveyor Efik of Climate Change Network Nigeria says however that, at the conference, "the developed countries are not showing a very good sincerity about the deal".

"There must be legally-binding targets," he says.

Pan Jia Wa from the Beijing-based Research Centre for Sustainable Development says however that ultimately, "the most important is the Chinese have to follow a low carbon-consumption lifestyle".

"We cannot go [on with] the consumption lifestyle like the Europeans, the Americans", he says, "you cannot change it in one day but we have to try very hard to reverse the trend".

Meena Raman, from Friends of the Earth, says developing countries are not the problem, "They are simply asking that rich countries honour their obligations".

"Rich countries have missed every deadline they set this year to agree new targets to cut their emissions and now they have the audacity to blame developing countries for the current deadlock," Raman said.

There also remains the question of the legal nature of any agreement, which could be an extension on the Kyoto protocol or a completely new document.

RFI's Sylvain Biville in Copenhagen says the organisation of the negotiations is also being blamed, with politicians taking over from the climate experts at a much earlier stage than usual.

"Politicians are coming in much earlier than scheduled, without leaving time to the experts to produce the basic document that is used for the final bargaining", he says.

The Danish organisation is being criticised for trying to establish a shortcut in the negotiation process, he says.