Cop15 Climate Summit Tensions Rise with Leaked Danish Document

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 9 (UPI) — A leaked document known as the “Danish text” has increased tensions between rich and poor countries negotiating at a crucial U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen.

Developing nations have been furious at the paper, while the United Nations has been defending the paper, saying it was launched by the Danish prime minister to spark dialogue and that it is now off the table.

“This was an informal paper ahead of the conference given to a number of people for the purposes of consultations. The only formal texts in the U.N. process are the ones tabled by the Chairs of this Copenhagen conference at the behest of the parties,” said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the top U.N. climate official.

The text proposes emissions peaks, financing from developed countries and a climate fund that oversees said financing.

Lumumba Di-Aping, the Sudanese chairman of the G77 group of 130 developing countries, said the paper undermines the negotiation process.

“Its overreaching goal is to destroy the balance of obligations between developing and industrialized Western countries,” he said Wednesday in Copenhagen. “It denies the fact that developed countries have a historical responsibility for damaging the atmosphere of this planet.”

The so-called Danish text was issued to representatives from a limited number of countries at informal consultations organized by the Danish government last Tuesday. Lumumba Di-Aping attended that session, de Boer said Wednesday in Copenhagen.

He added he didn’t see the negotiations threatened.

“A number of countries are nervous about this text because they see it as being imbalanced,” de Boer added Wednesday in Copenhagen. “But the G77 has also indicated that this conference is too important to walk away from it.”

Some 15,000 representatives from 192 countries are currently meeting in Copenhagen for a Dec. 7-18 climate conference aimed at producing a deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which runs out in 2012.

Officials hope the deal will include binding carbon dioxide emissions reduction commitments from the world’s major emitters — including the United States, India and China — as well as dozens of billions of dollars in financial aid to poor nations ill-equipped to deal with a problem they did least to create.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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