Developing countries return to climate talks

A A A

Developing countries today agreed to resume climate change negotiations in Copenhagen after a half-day suspension.

The G77 group, led by African countries, staged a walkout over accusations that richer countries were seeking to use the UN-sponsored conference to dodge their obligations to cut carbon emissions.



Poorer countries fear that the Copenhagen talks will kill off the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which committed industrialised states to reduce greenhouse gases, with financial penalties for failure.



Their call for an extension of Kyoto is opposed by some industrialised states because the US - the second-largest emitter after China - remains outside the process, having refused to ratify the protocol.



Today's suspension of work came as Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband acknowledged that the 192-nation conference was "not yet on track for the kind of deal we need" and said "more urgency" was needed to solve problems.



Speaking in Copenhagen, Mr Miliband urged delegates to make progress before national leaders arrived later this week.



"I think that the very clear message for negotiators and ministers is we need to get our act together and take action to resolve some of the outstanding issues that we face," he said.



Downing Street announced today that Prime Minister Gordon Brown would fly to the Copenhagen conference tomorrow - two days earlier than planned - to throw his weight behind efforts to reach a deal.



Mr Brown has already identified the need to help developing countries mitigate carbon emissions and adapt to the impact of global warming as one of the key elements to any agreement.



The PM's spokesman today said Mr Brown remained "optimistic" that a political deal could be reached by Friday.



The G77's chief negotiator Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, from Sudan, said that today's walkout was prompted by the failure of the Danish presidency to put industrial nations' emissions targets at the top of the agenda.



Mr Di-Aping told BBC Radio 4's World at One: "We decided to stop and reflect on what is happening, because it had become clear that the Danish presidency - in the most undemocratic fashion - is advancing the interests of developed countries at the expense of the balance of obligations between developing and developed countries.



"What we want is a process that is democratic, that allows us full participation, that ensures the safety and lives of the developing countries in Africa and small island states.



"We want a deal that will save the Kyoto Protocol and we want finance and mitigation targets and commitment periods signed at this conference. If that doesn't happen, I am afraid we can't accept the idea that we are going to create a new legal instrument."



He added: "The EU in particular is pursuing a strategy of killing the Kyoto Protocol, hiding behind the US. Their issue is that they don't want to commit to ambitious targets commensurate to the risk."



Campaigners said that the developing countries were right to focus attention on the issue of carbon cuts in rich-world industrialised states.



Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International, said: "Africa has pulled the emergency cord to avoid a train crash at the end of the week. Poor countries want to see an outcome which guarantees sharp emissions reductions, yet rich countries are trying to delay discussions on the only mechanism we have to deliver this - the Kyoto Protocol.



"This not about blocking the talks - it is about whether rich countries are ready to guarantee action on climate change and the survival of people in Africa and across the world."



Nelson Muffuh, Christian Aid's senior climate change advocacy co-ordinator, said: "Africa has been driven to this by the lack of progress on key substantive issues such as strong mitigation targets, and the lack of offers of financial support from rich countries to poor to help them deal with climate change.



"We need far more robust emission targets from wealthy countries and much more finance."



Following the resumption of talks, International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said: "Time is now against us in Copenhagen and we need leadership, not brinkmanship, to secure a deal to save the planet.



"Today's temporary suspension reminds us all of the real risk of failure. We need all countries around the negotiating table at all times to make progress."



Speaking in Copenhagen, Mr Alexander said Britain was "working hard to ensure that a firm and fair deal is on the table when world leaders arrive later this week".



And he added: "We recognise that emerging countries have the right to build up their industries and that the developed world has been the biggest contributor to the emissions which cause global warming. But we will not get an agreement unless everyone - developed and developing - plays their part.



"It is the moral responsibility of everyone round the negotiating table to work relentlessly for a fair, ambitious and effective deal in the hours and days ahead."

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleThe idea has been greeted enthusiastically by the party's MPs
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - OOP, Javascript, HTML, CSS, SQL

£39000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - OOP, Javascript, HTML,...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game