The past 24 hours at the Copenhagen climate talks bordered on melodrama when Lumumba Di-Aping, head of the G77 walked out of a press conference and shed tears before making a proclamation that a leaked document referred to as the "Danish Text" was the smoking gun that pointed to what he called a "suicide pact" between wealthy Annex II nations and the developing world.
The event seemed strangely timed with the release of a damning article in The Guardian that implied this was a backdoor cabal-type situation in which the U.S. and the EU were laying out a draft agreement without consent of the G77. Negotiators in the developing world certainly have a right to be concerned. The main target on the table right now is 450 PPM of atmospheric CO2 by 2100 and a mean temperature rise of 2 degrees. Di-Aping pointed out that for Africa this means a 3-4 degree temperature rise and an almost certain onslaught of drought and famine.
While I agree wholeheartedly that 450 PPM is not sufficient to protect the developing world, I am concerned that the G77's outburst so early in the conference could work against them. The accusation that the Danish Text is anything more than a working document, much less a "secret agreement" operating outside the provisions of the conference is pretty bad form and sets a tone that is far from productive.
As Andrew Light of the Center for American Progress points out:
Any veteran of the UN climate meetings will recognize the G77+ China reaction to “the” Danish draft today – as the Danes reiterated, there is no single definitive draft and nothing has been finalized – as more of the same drama that has pervaded these meetings for the last 14 years. A not terribly creative mind could script these events before they happen.
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