Rich countries under fire as emissions talks stall

Negotiators are already at loggerheads over plans for COP17 months before the South African climate change talks are due to start.

Several days of talks, which ended last night (April 7) in Bangkok, had 'serious flaws as the sole basis' for future negotiations according to NGOs.

The UN Climate Change Conference had begun brightly with Christiana Figueres saying the negotiations present Governments with the early opportunity to 'push ahead to complete the concrete work they agreed in Cancun', as well as 'charting a way forward' that will ensure renewed success in Durban.

However, talks were dominated by a dispute over the agenda, with the United States accused of blocking work plan proposed by 131 developing countries.

Christian Aid's senior advisor on global climate advocacy, Mohamed Adow, said: "Rich countries are still refusing to guarantee their commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and their emission cut promises are far away from what is needed in line with science and equity.

"The challenge now is to deliver the second commitment period of Kyoto through amendment of annex B, not another political compromise or empty promises - we have had enough of those in the last 3 years."

Jubilee South Asia spokesman, Rex Varona, said: "We will continue to mobilize our movement in Asia and Africa to challenge national governments not to concede to bilateral or narrow-vested interests and manipulations of the US and other rich developed countries.

"Doing so will merely legitimize and put into operation the pledge and review approach which will lead to run away climate change.

"This is not simply about the talks or the technical targets. This is about long-term, catastrophic climate change and threat to the lives of millions."

Luke Walsh


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