Here’s a snapshot of discussions during the first week at COP-15:
G-77 versus rich countries: Developing countries are not happy over the way the negotiations have proceeded so far, with few indications of developed countries coming forward with substantial aid to help poor countries combat the impacts of climate change.
The European Union in Brussels pledged 7.2 billion Euros aid over the next three years to developing countries. Sudan’s Lumumba DiAping, chair of G-77, the large bloc of developing countries, says the money is insufficient and will breed more mistrust about the EU’s intentions on climate change. The core of the G-77 criticism is that it does not address the issue of long-term financing.
But developing countries experts working specifically on issues related to deforestation and afforestation (REDD) and technology transfer are satisfied with progress on these two fronts.
China versus US: The United States and China lock horns. Waving the red flag to almost all climate change bulls at COP-15 (leaving out a few like Japan, Australia and Saudi Arabia), was US chief negotiator Todd Stern who said: “We (US) absolutely recognize our historic role in putting emissions in the atmosphere up there that are there now. But the sense of guilt or culpability or reparations, I just categorically reject that.”
Todd further got China’s goat by saying China should not expect climate change aid from the US.
China’s response? Vice foreign minister Ye Hefei on Friday: “I don’t want to say the gentleman (Stern) is ignorant.
I think he lacks common sense where he made such a comment vis-a-vis funds for China. Either lack of common sense or extremely irresponsible.”
T V Padma, South Asia Regional Coordinator, SciDev.Net