Climate Documents Spark Rich vs. Poor Clash

Developing nations who face huge climate change burdens are demanding that wealthy nations shoulder more of the costs, as a leaked Danish document and fresh evidence of a hotter planet raised temperatures at the U.N. climate conference.

Negotiators on Wednesday were trying to bridge the difficult gaps among 192 nations and stem a growing chasm between rich and poor on the third day of the U.N. climate conference.

A key speaker will be U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson, whose agency just gave President Barack Obama a new way to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. Obama will join more than 100 national leaders converging on Copenhagen for the final days of bargaining late next week.

Jackson headlines a U.S.-sponsored meeting entitled "Taking Action at Home." The EPA determined Monday that scientific evidence clearly shows greenhouse gases are endangering Americans' health and must be regulated, either by Congress or by itself, the agency responsible for air pollution. That gave Obama a new way to regulate those gases without needing the approval of the U.S. Congress.

Meanwhile, small island nations, poor countries and those seeking money from the developed world to preserve their tropical forests were among those upset over competing draft texts attributed to Denmark and China outlining proposed outcomes for the historic Dec. 7-18 summit.

Some of the poorest nations feared too much of the burden to curb greenhouse gases is being hoisted onto their shoulders. They are seeking billions of dollars in aid from the wealthy countries to deal with climate change, which melts glaciers that raise sea levels worldwide, turns some regions drier and threatens food production.

Diplomats from developing countries and climate activists complained the Danish hosts pre-empted the negotiations with their draft proposal.

Lumumba Di-Aping of Sudan, the head of the 135-nation bloc of developing countries, said the $10 billion fast-track pledge from the U.S., European Union, Japan and other wealthy nations paled compared to the more than $1 trillion spent to rescue financial institutions.

"If this is the greatest risk that humanity faces, then how do you explain $10 billion — unless it is an inducement for some countries to accept the western-backed proposal?" he said. "Ten billion will not buy developing countries' citizens enough coffins."

The Danish draft proposal would allow rich countries to cut fewer emissions while poorer nations would face tougher limits on greenhouse gases and more conditions on money available to adapt.

"(It focuses) on pleasing the rich and powerful countries rather than serving the majority of states who are demanding a fair and ambitious solution," said Kim Carstensen of the environmental group WWF.

A sketchy counterproposal attributed to China would extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which required 37 industrial nations to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming by an average 5 percent by 2012, compared with 1990 levels.

The Chinese text would incorporate specific new, deeper targets for the industrialized world for a further five to eight years. Developing countries, on the other hand, including China, would be covered by a separate agreement that envisions their taking actions to control emissions, but not in the same legally binding way. No targets would be specified for them.

Poorer nations believe the two-track approach would best preserve the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" recognized by the Kyoto treaty.

Such draft ideas are the usual grist early in such long, difficult international talks. These two proposals were not yet even recorded as official conference documents.

"It has no validity," key European Union negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger said, speaking of the Danish proposal. "It's only a piece of paper. The only texts that have validity here are those which people negotiated."

Earlier Tuesday, the U.N.'s weather agency unveiled data showing that this decade is on track to become the hottest since records began in 1850, with 2009 the fifth-warmest year ever. The second warmest decade was the 1990s.

Only the United States and Canada experienced cooler conditions than average, the World Meteorological Organization said, though Alaska had the second-warmest July on record. In central Africa and southern Asia, this will probably be the warmest year, it said.

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  • by ace Location: plymouth on Dec 10, 2009 at 03:23 PM
    The government or should I say the people in the government who can profit from climate changes are raising this issue. Did anyone see the show on TV about HARRP. It warms the atmosphere ie climate changes.
  • by Scooter on Dec 10, 2009 at 07:10 AM
    I still can not believe so many people are so easily fooled into believing this chicken little and the sky falling story.
  • by jr Location: bath on Dec 9, 2009 at 01:22 PM
    i see i am not the only one who thinks global warming is a hoax. i have posted before, on other sites, that we are heading into a mini ice age, similar to the one in the early 1700's.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Dec 9, 2009 at 11:46 AM
    Any readers here see Lavon? I want him to weigh in on this doom and gloom perpetuated by our party, the democrats. We may not have gas lines, just $7 a gallon of gas. Does this sound right with the economy the way it is, the unemployment at 11%, does this sound "normal" to anyone?
  • by Al Gore Location: Heaping pile of money on Dec 9, 2009 at 10:20 AM
    Please, buy my product! But ya got to buy now!!!!! I will even throw in a second carbon credit if you call in the next 10 minutes, but, ya got to buy now!!! Callers calling in the next ten minutes, will receive a free tube of Obama terd polish, ya know, if it smells bad, polish that baby up! In just two applications, look what it did for me, Al Gore.....
  • by Jeff Location: Ayden on Dec 9, 2009 at 08:53 AM
    Just reading this article should wake the average intelligence to the understanding of exactly what this "Bogus Man-Made" claim is all about..."poor countries and those seeking money from the developed world to preserve their tropical forests were among those upset"... "Ten billion will not buy developing countries' citizens enough coffins."...It's about "Redistribution of wealth"..."From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" MARXISM...Read it and weep.
  • by Kimo Location: Belhaven on Dec 9, 2009 at 07:02 AM
    What astounds me is that even though they have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, the so called climate scientists continue to push their "one world" agenda. No shame. Nothing but more of the same. When are we going to wise up. I can;t wait to see what our Chief Community organizer offers up at the conference.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Dec 9, 2009 at 06:23 AM
    Scam of the year and the liberals are the ones cooking the temperatures. NOAA has now changed their web site for some reason and the AMA official statement is Climate change exists. The only problem, the facts say we are cooling period. This link, the PDF shows charts, will give you an idea as to how far this scam is going. The temps were manipulated and the culprits were discovered, exposed. They wish to put 100 billion on taxes on oil. What do you think that will bring gas prices at the pump?
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Dec 9, 2009 at 04:56 AM
    When I go to NOAA to get the average temperatures in NC, I find we are having the coolest year yet. Did you notice how cool it was in July? Did you note we didn't have the 99-100 degrees, 99% humidity? People, I am telling you that this is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the US and Euorpe. These so called scientists and meteroligists are not allowing their data to be challenged by "real science". Do not believe in this hooey being pushed by Al Gore. Its about them making money with your money. You need to fight this one. We have been having global cooling for 11 years now, go look for yourself.
  • by jr Location: bath on Dec 9, 2009 at 04:21 AM
    i don't know what to believe about global warming. 'cooked' temperature numbers (no pun intended), many scientists saying the global warming is a hoax, and the fact the politicians are behind all this makes for a suspicious mixture.

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