John Vidal in Copenhagen writes for the Gaurdian,
International climate talks at the UN summit in Copenhagen have made little progress on key issues such as finance for a deal, despite the publication today of a new draft negotiating text by the UN.
The so-called “long-term action plan text” was last night interpreted as far more ambitious and positive than a document prepared by the Danish delegation and other developed countries that was leaked to the Guardian earlier this week. But many key issues within the new document – which is seven pages long and will form the basis of discussions between ministers when they arrive next week – remain unresolved.
The document says that developed countries will have to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 – compared to 1990 levels – by between 25-45%, with the overall aim of holding a global temperature rise to 1.5C or 2C. Even the lower figure for cuts is far higher than the commitments from rich countries already on the table. The 1.5C temperature figure is extremely ambitious and would require technology to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
While it is not certain that the final figures will be within those ranges, it is likely that rich countries will now have to come to the table with significantly improved offers next week. It looks almost certain that the EU will commit to a 30% cut in emissions by 2020. This is Gordon Brown’s preferred figure but it could mean Britain committing to over 40% cuts in emissions by 2020 instead of the present 34%.