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Hard bargaining in Copenhagen

Talks were suspended yesterday for five hours at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen. Suspicions were raised by the African group, supported by the G77 – representing  130 developing nations - the conference was in danger of collapsing the Kyoto Protocol. 

Lower levels

“We are seeing the death of the Kyoto Protocol," said Djemouai Kamel of Algeria, the head of the 50-nation Africa group. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol requires almost 40 industrialised nations cut their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 5.2 % below 1990 levels by 2008-12. If they don’t penalties will be issued.

Separate deal

The reason for the distrust is that rich nations want to merge Kyoto into a single agreement tying all nations to the same commitment. But developing nations want the terms extended, with a separate deal for the poor in the fight against global warming.

Feeling the impact

Developing countries are already aware of the effects of global warming. They have been feeling it for sometime now. Take 80-year-old Silumezi, a Concern programme participant in Zambia: 

Farming now is different and difficult. Sometimes rains start in November or later. When it comes, it rains and rains continuously for almost three days, which is bad for our crops. This time we had a mix of persistent droughts and floods. The weather patterns have gone completely mad. The rains destroy houses and wash away fields. It is getting worse each year.

Talks reconvened

The talks started again with assurances that more focus would be given to the demands of the G77.

The final segment of the summit begins Tuesday evening. 120 heads of state and government are due to attend. This part of the conference will be opened with speeches from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and Prince Charles.