China, India, Brazil Push U.S. for Deeper Greenhouse Gas Cuts
2010-12-07 05:35:09.508 GMT
By Kim Chipman and Mathew Carr
Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- China, India, Brazil and South
Africa said the U.S. must pledge deeper cuts in greenhouse
gas emissions to help make progress in United Nations climate
talks, sharpening divisions between rich and poor countries
on how to combat global warming.
The four developing nations at the talks in Cancun,
Mexico, also called on industrialized economies to provide
more aid for countries seeking to clean up their energy
industries, adding to demands that the U.S. and European
Union said may wreck the meeting.
"There is an agreement to be had," U.S. lead climate
negotiator Todd Stern said yesterday in Cancun. "I'm not
sure whether we will actually get it. I think that question
hangs in the balance."
With the two-week conference involving 193 nations
entering its final four days, the EU said negotiating
documents are too complex and too full of disputed items for
this stage in the talks. The remarks add to the chances
negotiations may follow last year's gathering in Copenhagen
in failing to produce an agreed package of measures to keep a
lid on global temperatures.
"The texts are still much too long," said Connie
Hedegaard, the European Commissioner in charge of climate
policy, referring to UN documents outlining possible goals at
Cancun. "There are much too many options. They are still too
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales of Bolivia
and Rafael Correa of Ecuador are among the 35 leaders
arriving for the final days of the conference. U.S. President
Barack Obama, who attended last year in Copenhagen, is not
coming this time. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon opens the
segment of the talks for country leaders today at 3 p.m. in
The delegates are looking for ways to curb fossil fuel
emissions blamed for global warming once limits agreed in the
1997 Kyoto treaty expire in 2012. After failing to reach a
legally-binding agreement last year, the UN scaled back
ambitions for this meeting, focusing on agreeing regulations
to protect forests, verify emissions cuts and channel up to
$100 billion a year in climate aid to developing nations.
A UN text sketching out the options for Cancun says the
nations of the world need to limit temperature increases
since the 1700s to "below 2 degrees Celsius." Carbon
dioxide emissions have risen 40 percent from 1990 to 2008,
double the level that would produce a 3.5 degrees Celsius
increase in global temperatures, the International Energy
Agency said yesterday.
The U.S., the only industrialized country not to ratify
the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, has pledged to cut emissions about
17 percent by 2020 based on 2005 levels. That amounts to a
zero reduction from 1990, the baseline for Kyoto, according
to India Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
"The U.S. offer is disappointing to say the least," he
said yesterday. He joined the other developing nations in
insisting that the industrial countries make a second round
of commitments under Kyoto, an effort that the UN says is not
possible at this meeting.
"We need to stick to the Kyoto Protocol because it's
the result of a long-term effort and the only legally binding
document on emissions reductions," Xie Zhenhua, China's top
official on climate policy, said at a briefing yesterday in
Cancun. "We need to continue the second commitment period."
Both the U.S. and EU are pressing for a new climate
agreement to include reduction pledges made earlier this year
under the Copenhagen Accord, a non-binding accord cobbled
together in the Danish capital last year when treaty talks
The U.S. wants the Copenhagen pact to serve as the basis
for a new treaty that includes cuts from fast-growing
countries like China and India. Japan, Russia and Canada have
refused to sign up for a second round of cuts under Kyoto
without developing country participation. China wants to
stick with the Kyoto approach, which requires actions from
only industrial countries.
The EU, which has committed to cutting emissions 20
percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, urged all countries to make
compromises, noting there were limits to what it could
"We can't leave Cancun empty-handed," Hedegaard said
in a news conference.
Bolivia yesterday stepped up its call for rich nations
to make deeper cuts. Its negotiator, Pablo Solon, also is
resisting the forest protection measures, saying the methods
being considered to count the stocks of carbon sequestered in
trees don't do enough to protect "the rights of nature."
The Latin American country's concerns are important
because under the UN rules, which require consensus, any
party to the talks can hold up progress with an objection.
The rich-nation targets in the 1997 Kyoto negotiation
text range from 15 percent below 1990 levels in 2020 to 50
percent below by 2017, according to a document on the website
of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The EU has said it will boost its reduction target to 30
percent if other countries also strengthen their commitments.
"What we need is that others also move," Hedegaard
--With assistance from Alex Morales in Cancun, Mexico.
Editors: Reed Landberg, Peter Langan, John Viljoen
To contact the reporter on this story:
Kim Chipman in Cancun, Mexico at +1-202-624-1927 or
Mathew Carr in London at +44-20-7073-3531 or
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at +44-20-7330-7862 or