Experts Believe Copenhagen Climate Treaty in Danger

BARCELONA, Spain, Nov. 9 (UPI) — Experts are increasingly doubtful that the Copenhagen climate-change conference can produce a binding climate treaty, less than a month before the U.N.-mandated meeting is due to start.

The latest round of negotiations in Barcelona last week revealed the growing frustration over the slow progress when it comes to stopping global warming.

Frustrated by developed countries’ unwillingness to make firm commitments on emission cuts, delegates from the African nations decided to boycott the negotiations in Spain.

U.S. negotiators in Barcelona disappointed representatives from developing countries. Despite a strong campaign pledge from President Barack Obama to inject new life into climate-protection negotiations, the United States has not stepped up to the challenge, developing nations say. A U.S. climate bill is delayed in the Senate, and Washington’s negotiators in Barcelona were not ready to back concrete emissions-reductions targets that would be ensured by U.N. oversight.

On the sidelines of the Barcelona summit, some delegates were thus “contemplating the increasingly clear high-level messages that a legally binding agreement at COP 15 will not be possible,” the Earth Negotiations Bulletin reports. “Some observers were visibly disappointed, while others tried to stay positive as they speculated about prospects for a legally binding instrument sometime in 2010.”

The accord to be born at Copenhagen — to feature binding emissions-reductions targets, adaptation measures and their funding — is due to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which runs out in 2012. Key to the new accord are ambitious commitments from the United States and leading developing economies such as India and China.

But some experts now say the Kyoto Protocol may be extended beyond 2012 in case the world fails to agree on an ambitious new treaty at Copenhagen or in the months after that.

Connie Hedegaard, the Danish climate and energy minister who will chair the Copenhagen summit, said that the Dec. 8-17 event will be “a moment of truth.” The Barcelona conference showed that “countries are very worried about the consequences of global warming and expect the developed countries to perform in Copenhagen,” she said in a statement. “Although the blockade slowed down negotiations, it is encouraging that Africa speaks with one voice. It sends a clear signal to the countries that there should be numbers on the table in Copenhagen — regarding reduction targets as well as financing.”

Yvo de Boer, the United Nations’ top climate-change official, said the Barcelona talks did produce some progress on technology cooperation, stopping deforestation in developing countries and adaptation.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

One Response to “Experts Believe Copenhagen Climate Treaty in Danger”
  1. Jake says:

    I really hope no ignorant conclusions (like the Kyoto Protocol’s) are made here. If we allow this scare to play out before money wasting, third-world damaging, bad science agreements are made, then we can avoid the real disaster: A completely economically separated world.

    Global warming cannot be stopped because it is a natural process. Any changes that happen can be combated by the Earth.

    Ex.1: more heat = more evaporation/condensation = more clouds = more reflected sun

    Ex.2: more heat = more evaporation of ocean water = condensation/percipitation in polar regions [these regions wouldn't even melt if a 10 degree increase occured] = larger ice sheets = lowering water level).

    The Earth is a force more powerful than any single person can imagine, most environmentalists would agree. So why do we think it is “dying” or it “needs to be saved.” The earth has been here much longer than any of us can comprehend. It’s been through so much and it will do what the natural processes of equilibrium command it to do despite our futile attempts to control and understand it.


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