U.N. Climate Talks Late, Protests Heat Up

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 17 (UPI) — The United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen started late Wednesday due to disputes over documents to be used as the basis for the talks, observers said.

The formal negotiations during the final days of the two-week conference got under way nine hours late because the Danes upset blocs of developing countries by attempting to introduce new documents in lieu of the ones that have resulted from almost-yearlong negotiations, the BBC reported.

Developing countries accused the Danes of trying to bend the summit toward an outcome that will benefit developed nations, the BBC reported.

An incentive for the summit to proceed is Japan’s pledge of $5 billion to be given to poor nations between 2010 and 2012, but only if a deal is reached, and the Japanese position is the deal must include legally binding emission curbs from major developing countries. Japan’s large regional rival, China, is opposed to such a deal, the BBC said.

A bloc of six developed countries — the United States, England, Australia, France, Japan and Norway — together will pledge $3.5 billion to fighting deforestation, but “in context of an ambitious and comprehensive outcome in Copenhagen,” the BBC said.

Earlier in the day, police — prepared for a confrontation Wednesday — fought back protesters who tried to barge through barricades around Copenhagen’s Bella Centre.

A final draft of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation originally was to be offered Wednesday to conference representatives, but will not be presented until the end of the week, The New York Times reported.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Regional
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