Developing countries ready to help, but rich states must take lead – SA

South African President Jacob Zuma has summed up the position of most developing countries at the Copenhagen summit, saying they are not unwilling to take action, but that wealthy states must shoulder the brunt of the burden.

“Developing countries are ready to play their part in reducing global emissions but obviously rich countries have to take the lead,” he said.

“With financial and technological support from developed countries, South Africa will be able to reduce its emissions by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025.”

He, like most here now, was resigned to the fact that a meaningful Grand Document of some sort was no longer a likely outcome of these talks.

“We wanted a legally binding agreement but accept the progress that has been made,” he said.

He acknowledged that any moves forward would likely be along two parallel tracks, one under the UN convention and the other under the Kyoto Protocol.

Elaborating on exactly what progress there was, he said that the world now knew where there was agreement, and where there was discord – and that would provide a helpful basis to future negotiations.

But he expressed disappointment that more steps hadn’t been taken along the path to a global agreement.

“We need to move with speed to finalize this and to overcome those areas of agreements for the sake of our children,” he said.

Sam Bond

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