Copenhagen talks resume after impasse

As we continue to blog live from Copenhagen, ENDS Report editor Nick Schoon reports that talks restarted late this morning after a 24 hour impasse

Nations will continue to negotiate on two separate texts. One covers further commitments on greenhouse gas emission reductions by developed country nations who have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, stretching beyond 2012 when the protocol's first commitment period expires.

The second text covers action to tackle climate change by all nations, rich and poor, including the USA which never joined the protocol. Subgroups of countries have been set up to discuss the numerous outstanding issues, in the hope they can report back to the entire conference this evening.

There are many obstacles to a deal, but in final days of the climate summit a raft of developing world concerns have dominated. They want rich nations, responsible for most emissions to date, to take a much bigger share of the burden in paying them to industrialise in a low carbon manner.

Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, announced this morning that the US supports a long term global total of $100bn flowing each year from developed nations to developing nations to help them adapt to climate change and reduce their emissions. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, representing the African Union has also proposed this figure.

Highlights from the blog since Tuesday’s special edition of the Bulletin:

Tuesday 15 December

Today - against all odds - Copenhagen made the front page of the Daily Express, a British newspaper that normally dedicates its cover to health scares, house price falls and Princess Diana conspiracies.

"We have entered the last stage," Danish climate and energy minister Connie Hedegaard said. In an unprecedented move, ministers got involved in the negotiations earlier than planned, working deep into the night on Monday to get things going.

There has been little progress in Copenhagen on the difficult issue of how to deal with around 10 billion excess Kyoto credits (AAUs) that are legally allowed to be carried over, or banked, into any second commitment period under the Kyoto protocol. TEXT HERE

Wednesday 16 December

France and Ethiopia, representing Africa, have called for a global tax on financial transactions to help finance climate mitigation and adaptation measures in developing countries beyond 2012.

You must compromise, you must commit, you must deliver,” beseeched Connie Hedegaard, the president of the climate meeting. She was speaking at a very grand opening ceremony for the so called 'high level segment' of the summit last night.

The UK's energy and climate change secretary has just given a rather downbeat briefing to the UK press here in Copenhagen on the state of play.

There is no agreement on a text that would form the basis for negotiations, never mind actually starting those negotiations. Briefing after briefing today has painted a gloomy picture.

Thursday 17 December

Yesterday evening UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said the next 24 hours would be crucial. Indeed, it looks like Thursday may be the new Friday – with over 100 heads of state and government expecting something to sign up to tomorrow, ministers and negotiators may have to work throughout the night to get it ready for them.

Yesterday’s decision by the UNFCCC to ban a large number of NGO delegatesfrom the Bella Centre was, to say the least, unpopular on the ground.

Ministers and negotiators are finally sitting down to negotiate with the agreement that UN draft texts produced earlier this week, not new Danish compromise proposals, will be the basis for the rest of the talks.

There is a new sense of purpose here in the Bella Centre since the establishment of the two new contact groups.

The ENDS Copenhagen Blog is a collaboration between The ENDS Report, ENDS Europe and the ENDS Legal Compliance Manager. All of ENDS Europe’s coverage of the negotiations is free to access.

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