UN climate talks enter chaotic finale
At UN climate talks in South Africa, the host government says agreement has been reached on many of the key issues.
But some delegations are very unhappy with elements of the draft text drawn up by the hosts, in particular on the “roadmap” to a binding global deal.
The EU and many small, poor nations want a legally-binding deal that will curb emissions well before 2020.
But the draft text talks only of curbs after 2020, and does not specify a legally-binding outcome.
“The latest text is not acceptable to us and to many other parties,” said UK Climate Secretary Chris Huhne.
“The UK, as part of the EU, will continue to push for the most credible deal that meets the needs of the science.”
Many other issues are tied up in long documents before delegates, who have embarked on a series of official sessions at which all the texts must be approved.
If they cannot reach agreement, there is a real prospect of talks collapsing.
‘Lack of urgency’
Small-group meetings are also continuing on the main points, though it is hard to see what can be achieved, given the incompatibility of the basic positions.
An added complication is that some ministers have already left, with the meeting running more than a day beyond its scheduled close.
The South African hosts have come in for a lot of criticism over a perceived lack of strategy and urgency.
And the new draft text appears to go back towards the position of the few big, important countries opposing a strong deal - the US, Brazil, China, and India among them.
“There’s so much clarity about the crisis - when even the International Energy Agency says ‘you’ve got five years’, it couldn’t be clearer,” said Tim Gore, senior policy adviser with Oxfam.
“And if they can’t find a way to solve it with everyone in the room, they have to do it with those that want to, leaving the US behind.”
What delayed matters further was a fake text issued apparently by the South African presidency after consultation with the EU, US, Brazil, India and China.