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Draft Text At Copenhagen Summit Angers Developing Nations

The so-called CO2 cube in Copenhagen shows the amount of carbon dioxide produced by an average person in one month.
(RFE/RL) -- The Copenhagen climate change summit is only a few days into its deliberations but already a serious split is looming over a draft final document meant for issue at the end of the two-week summit.

Developing nations are outraged that a group of rich countries, led by summit host Denmark, is circulating a draft final document which they see as unfair to themselves.

They argue it would allow developed countries to emit more, proportionately, of the gases blamed for global warming.

The draft's contents have not been openly confirmed, but British newspapers say they have seen a leaked version.

I think they have put their own credibility at stake by coming out with their own text...
"The Guardian" daily calls the document the "Danish text" and says its backers include Britain, the United States, and Denmark. It is apparently meant as a working document that can be adapted in coming negotiations.

But developing nations are angry that the draft has been drawn up without their knowledge or consent.

"[The] Danish Presidency should have been completely unbiased, they should have been a facilitator, not behaving as a party leaning toward developed countries," Harjeet Singh, climate change adviser for the Action Aid organisation, tells RFE/RL from Copenhagen.

"I think they have put their own credibility at stake by coming out with their own text, which is neither ambitious and the process has not been fair at all."

Danish officials deny anything secretive about the text, saying it has been circulated as widely as possible.

Bad Deal For Africa?

African nations in particular are suspicious that they are going to end up with a bad deal. African representatives on December 8 marched into the conference hall chanting their dissatisfaction, indicating how close the conference might come to a walkout.

"The developed countries don't want to sign reasonable commitments on these negotiations," a representative of the charity Christian Aid, Augustine Njamnshi of Cameroon, tells Reuters. "We are not saying we want to walk out. We don't want our negotiators to walk out. But please don't force them to do so because Africa is too hot for us. We don't want people to continue to take advantage of us."

According to the "The Guardian" account, one of the important points in the draft is that it would sideline the UN negotiating process and put the administration of a "green fund" under a board that could include organizations like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund -- which could be seen as more responsive to Western viewpoints.

"What we want," says Singh, "is a global fund under the authority of UNFCCC [UN Framework Convention on Climate Change], which is managed by them and developing countries and poor countries have a much larger say in the decision-making process and how the money should be routed and how they receive money for adaptation and mitigation work."

The draft purportedly seeks legal commitments from developing countries that they will carry out their promises to cut emissions in exchange for receiving money from the green fund.

Antonio Hill, climate change adviser for Oxfam International charity, says the draft is too weak on the scale of emission cuts it seeks over the coming years. He says they are "nothing like" the 40 percent cuts that scientists say are needed.

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