African Nations Teeter from Boycott

Andrew Ward and Ed Crooks write for the Financial Times,

Talks have resumed at the Copenhagen climate conference amid escalating tensions between rich countries and the developing world over how a deal should be structured.

African nations had earlier on Monday led a boycott of a key working group bringing negotiations to a halt. The delegates returned later saying that they had won some concessions.

The temporary halt in the talks came just four days before world leaders are supposed to converge on the Danish capital to complete a deal, and underlined that developing countries remain at loggerheads with the US, Europe and their allies over how to share the burden of fighting global warming.

Much of the tension is focused on whether to keep alive the Kyoto protocol – the existing international climate agreement struck in 1997 – as part of a new deal or replace it with an entirely new treaty.

Developing countries, including China, India and Brazil, want to keep the Kyoto process because it commits developed countries to legally binding emissions cuts without making the same requirements of poorer nations.

But developed countries, led by the US, want a new framework that binds China and other emerging economies to targets.

African leaders on Monday accused Denmark, which is chairing the conference, of trying to sideline the Kyoto protocol from negotiations and said they would not take part in the morning’s talks as a result. Other developing countries backed their stance, leading to the suspension.

“The Kyoto protocol is of paramount importance to us,” said Mama Konate, chief delegate for the African nation of Mali. “We can never accept the killing of the Kyoto protocol.”

read more at Financial Times

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