JEROME CARTILLIER writes for the Mail & Guardian Online,
Africa’s frustration at the United Nations climate summit boiled over on Monday as delegates walked out of key talks and continental giant Nigeria warned the negotiations were now on red alert.
Sources at the marathon talks said Africa led a five-hour boycott of working groups, with the backing of the Group of 77 developing nations, and only returned after securing guarantees that the summit would not sideline talks about the future of the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol ties rich countries — but not developing countries — that have ratified it to legally binding emissions curbs.
It also has an important mechanism enabling the transfer of clean-energy technology to poorer nations.
Yet it does not include the United States, which says the Protocol is unfair as the binding targets do not apply to developing giants that are already huge emitters of greenhouse gases.
Algeria, speaking at a press briefing on behalf of the 53-member African Union, demanded that there should be a special plenary session devoted to Kyoto.
“Otherwise we are going to lose everything,” Algeria’s chief negotiator Kemal Djemouia told reporters.
Asked about the state of negotiations, Nigeria’s pointman rang the alarm bell.
“It is ‘climate code red’ right now, we are in code red right now, we stand at the crossroads of either hope for Africa or hope dashed in ‘Hopenhagen’,” Victor Ayodeji Fodeke told Agence France-Presse.