Copenhagen Climate Summit in Disarray after 'Danish Text' Leak

cop15-a-haitian-delegatio-001Developing countries react furiously to leaked draft agreement that would hand more power to rich nations, sideline the UN’s negotiating role and abandon the Kyoto protocol

By John Vidal

The UN Copenhagen climate talks are in disarray today after developing countries reacted furiously to leaked documents that show world leaders will next week be asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN’s role in all future climate change negotiations.

The document is also being interpreted by developing countries as setting unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050; meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals.

The so-called Danish text, a secret draft agreement worked on by a group of individuals known as “the circle of commitment” – but understood to include the UK, US and Denmark – has only been shown to a handful of countries since it was finalised this week.

The agreement, leaked to the Guardian, is a departure from the Kyoto protocol’s principle that rich nations, which have emitted the bulk of the CO2, should take on firm and binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, while poorer nations were not compelled to act. The draft hands effective control of climate change finance to the World Bank; would abandon the Kyoto protocol – the only legally binding treaty that the world has on emissions reductions; and would make any money to help poor countries adapt to climate change dependent on them taking a range of actions.

The document was described last night by one senior diplomat as “a very dangerous document for developing countries. It is a fundamental reworking of the UN balance of obligations. It is to be superimposed without discussion on the talks.”

A confidential analysis of the text by developing countries also seen by the Guardian shows deep unease over details of the text. In particular, it is understood to:

Force developing countries to agree to specific emission cuts and measures that were not part of the original UN agreement;

  • Divide poor countries further by creating a new category of developing countries called “the most vulnerable”;
  • Weaken the UN’s role in handling climate finance;
  • Not allow poor countries to emit more than 1.44 tonnes of carbon per person by 2050, while allowing rich countries to emit 2.67 tonnes.

Developing countries that have seen the text are understood to be furious that it is being promoted by rich countries without their knowledge and without discussion in the negotiations.

“It is being done in secret. Clearly the intention is to get [Barack] Obama and the leaders of other rich countries to muscle it through when they arrive next week. It effectively is the end of the UN process,” said one diplomat, who asked to remain nameless.

Antonio Hill, climate policy adviser for Oxfam International, said: “This is only a draft but it highlights the risk that when the big countries come together, the small ones get hurting. On every count the emission cuts need to be scaled up. It allows too many loopholes and does not suggest anything like the 40% cuts that science is saying is needed.”

Hill continued: “It proposes a green fund to be run by a board but the big risk is that it will run by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility [a partnership of 10 agencies including the World Bank and the UN Environment Programme] and not the UN. That would be a step backwards, and it tries to put constraints on developing countries when none were negotiated in earlier UN climate talks.”

Read the rest of this story at the Guardian.

Read the “Danish Text.”

11 Responses to Copenhagen Climate Summit in Disarray after 'Danish Text' Leak

  1. Rob N. Hood December 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    If this leaked info is true then much of what you deniers have feared will not occur or will not come true. You all feared that Obama would be signing over our soveriegnty (spelling) and/or giving tons of money to developing countries and/or letting the UN rule us.

  2. Rob N. Hood December 8, 2009 at 4:57 pm #

    Liberals are not very aggressive. They talk about peace and do nothing to challenge our permanent war economy. They claim to support the working class, and vote for candidates that glibly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement. They insist they believe in welfare, the right to organize, universal health care and a host of other socially progressive causes, and will not risk stepping out of the mainstream to fight for them. The only talent they seem to possess is the ability to point out the hyporcrisy and moral bankruptcy of the Right.

    “You have a tug of war with one side pulling,” Ralph Nader said once. “The corporate interests pull on the Democratic Party the way they pull on the Republican Party. If you are a ‘least-worst’ voter, you don’t want to disturb John Kerry on the war, so you call off the anti-war demonstrations in 2004. You don’t want to disturb Obama because McCain is worse. And every four years both parties get worse. There is no pulling from the Liberals really. That is the dilemma of The Nation and The Progressive and other similar Liberal publications. There is no breaking point apparently. What is the breaking point? The criminal war of aggression in Iraq? The useless escalation of the war in Afghanistan? Forty-five thousand people dying a year because they can’t afford health insurance? The hollowing out of communities and sending the jobs to fascist and communist regimes overseas that know how to put the workers in their place? There is no breaking point. And when there is no breaking point you do not have a moral compass.”

    Once again, Ralph is right. However, it would be nice to hear him trash conservatives for awhile…

  3. Rob N. Hood December 9, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    According to this article the big guys with all the money are going for it. They don’t even need the stinking UN, they will rule the world through corporate libertarianism. Check and mate. We are headed for a Mad Max style future, where the elite are rich, safe, and secure and the rest of us will have to fight it out for what we can get to survive (maybe not to that extreme, but something very close to it).

    Now do you know what it is you need to be fighting? The Liberals? Wake up.

    • Tannim December 9, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

      “corporate libertarianism”? That doesn’t even make sense, because the two are diametrically opposed to each other!

      But that’s what happens when people don’t understand what libertarianism really is.

      Believe you me, NOTHING coming out of Copenhagen is libertarian. Nothing at all.

      The REAL libertarian position would be to walk out of Copenhagen, kick the UN out of New York, and tell the international corporatists to pound sand and that we will NOT be relinquishing our sovereignty to anyone whatsoever.

  4. Rob N. Hood December 10, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Um, sorry Tannim but you are wrong. There is nothing opposed to these two concepts being together. Conversely, for example, there cannot be socialism/communisn AND facism- these are two separate concepts that cannot occur together. In addition, you are wrong becuase that is EXACTLY what exists today and the Big corporations (and even some small ones too of course) work hard everyday, behind the scenes (lobbyists, etc) to obtain less regulations and restrictions.

    What is it about that you don’t understand? De-regulation, etc. is the Holy Grail for them! And that is ALSO the Holy Grail for libertarians, right? Yes it is.

    However, I agree about a true libertarian not wanting to participate in the Copenhagen thing. But, what is also reality is that corporations have a libertarian goal for THEMSELVES (their companies), not for you and me. Get it? They go all over the world, moving their operations wherever they can get the cheapest labor, the least environmental restrictions, and the least taxes, etc. NOT becuause they will go out of business otherwise- but because it makes them richer and even more powerful. Why? To buy off even more politicians and governments. Why? So they can make even more money. It is a never ending cycle that is built into capitalism And that is not then a “free-market” any more. T. Roosevelt had to break up monopolies in his day, and it’s time to do so again. But both the Dems and the Repubs are already bought and paid for by the global elite. Copenhagen is most likely a combination of well-meaning people who believe the world climate needs some kind of intervention, and the elite who are there to make sure they come out ahead in the end (like health care “reform”) or at least try and make sure their “interests” are not effected too much.

  5. Dan McGrath December 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    Socialism and facism went hand in hand in Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. Mussolini was a committed socialist before the advent of the facist movement. He edited a socialist newspaper. The core of his political beliefs were shaped by socialist and collectivist ideas. He believed that the only value of an individual was in their contribution to the collective state.

  6. paul wenum December 11, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    I believe that he was hung thereafter.

  7. Rob N. Hood December 14, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    Dan, you would-be changer of history. Hitler and Mussolini may have said he and/or his movement/preference was “socialist”, but any fool knows, especially now, (that is- after the fact), that it decidedly WAS NOT. Only a fool or someone wanting to brainwash others would say otherwise. It also flies in the face of your silly statement that “all socialism leads to communism.” One could even call your attempted revisionism evil. I won’t legitmize this specific kind of insane duscussion any further.

    But now for the denier good news!! I think a “told you so” is in order. Told ya not to worry so much. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The UN international climate change conference is in chaos as the G77, which represents 130 developing countries “pulled the emergency plug” suspending the talks over wealthy countries’ reluctance to discuss a legally binding emissions treaty.

    Right now no mere government, or gathering of them, can seriously challenge the networked clout of globalized industry and finance.
    Corporations claim human rights…and the military clout to enforce them…but no human responsibilities. Their sole mandate is to make money. Human and ecological considerations are ultimately nil.
    These same corporations now deem it profitable to face the public with the best greenwashed veneer money can buy. But when push comes to shove (as it always does) corporations must and will opt for the short-term bottom line, filthy and anti-human as ever.

  8. paul wenum December 14, 2009 at 11:07 pm #

    Wait until this passes and you will stand in line waiting for bread. I like wheat, what say you?

  9. Rob N. Hood December 15, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    I think the Elite believe in climate change and its potential for great calamity. That is a reason they are busy ripping us all off, at an even greater rate than normal. They want as much power as possible when the you know what hits the fan. Also, maybe that is why the “secret” detention centers/camps have been built, to house the trouble makers and starving hoards that will migrant into America from the North and South, etc. I personally haven’t seen said centers, so I don’t know that they actually exist.

    Paul, my confused friend, capitalism created all of the recessions and the Great Depression, the stock/housing/commodity”bubbles”, and other financial crashes. Some of these have caused great hardships and even starvation. The ultra weathly actually benefit from these things- most are created purposefully. The rich cannot make the greatest amount of money without these fluctuations. It is practically common knowledge, so you and people like Dan and Neil live in a dream world, your own reality disconnected from Reality.

  10. paul wenum December 16, 2009 at 10:50 pm #

    Detention centers/camps, Elitists? What the hell do you drink or eat. Please let us know. I will boycott both items!!!

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