Copenhagen: summit ends without formal agreement

Finally over

It ends with a whimper, not a bang, as UN negotiators chose merely to “take note” of a US deal, as they were unable to secure the necessary agreement to formally adopt it. From The Washington Post:

The move came after a plan was dropped that would have paid developing countries to preserve their tropical forests in order to avert the release of greenhouse gases through deforestation.

That decision gutted one of the talks’ most meaningful outcomes, striking a blow to a coalition of poor countries and environmentalists that hoped to address a phenomenon that accounts for roughly 15 percent of the world’s annual carbon output. The program is known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, or REDD.

Negotiators had struggled throughout the early morning to overcome the objections of countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba and Sudan, who rejected the deal President Obama helped secure late Friday. They said the process of achieving the accord was undemocratic, and it failed to meaningfully address climate change.

That deal provided for monitoring domestic emission cuts but set no overall global target for cutting greenhouse gases and no deadline for reaching a formal international treaty.

The deal fell far short of even some low expectations for the summit, and left a comprehensive global battle plan for fighting climate change potentially years away. Although the agreement included some major players– China, India, Brazil and South Africa — it was not universally agreed upon by the 193 nations attending the summit, which some leaders left early Friday in apparent frustration. (source)

That’s it, I guess. There will be acres of comment in the media tomorrow, but it’s bed time here in Australia now!

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