Author Topic: China and US refuse to budge as Cancun looms  (Read 2869 times)

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China and US refuse to budge as Cancun looms
« on: November 22, 2010, 10:36:36 pm »
China and US refuse to budge as Cancun looms
Senior officials signal that they are in no mood to compromise at upcoming climate summit
By James Murray 19 Nov 2010

Growing optimism that the upcoming UN climate summit in Cancun could yield significant progress towards a deal received a major body blow yesterday after senior officials for both the US and China once again signalled that they were in no mood to compromise. Speaking to reporters following the final meeting of the Major Economies Forum of large emitters before the Cancun Summit, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's special representative for climate change Huang Huikang said that China would not submit to US demands for increased inspection of its emission reduction efforts as a condition of any climate aid deal. He stressed that Chinese demands that rich nations agree to more ambitious emission targets and increase climate financing for poorer nations were "unconditional and should not be linked to anything else". "Recently, we've found that some people have always been making a fuss about so-called (emissions) transparency," he said, adding that China would not agree to an inspection regime in return for commitments from rich nations on other issues. "This is a strong signal," he said. "Previously, we haven't so strongly stressed that as a matter of principle we believe that improving transparency is not an issue." Meanwhile, Huang's US counterpart, Todd Stern, said that while the country remained committed to delivering progress in Cancun it was not willing to impose a deadline for the long-running negotiations. A number of countries have been calling for a deadline to be imposed for the talks that would see a treaty finalised at next year's main UN climate change summit in Johannesburg, but Stern argued that the treaty should "get done when it's ripe". He did acknowledge, however, that time was running out for the UN-led negotiations. "The process can't continually stalemate," he said. "If we can't make any progress this year or next year there will be a point it won't work." Separately, Stern downplayed the implications of the Republican victory at the recent US mid-term elections, which saw a large number of climate skeptics elected to Congress, insisting that the US would stand by its commitment to cut emissions by 17 per cent against 2005 levels by 2020. "I don't think the climate deniers represent anything like a majority or even a very large minority," he said. "There's no question that it is something that needs to be addressed and dealt with in this country. The message needs to be disseminated and there needs to be the right kind of educational processes." In related news, the chair of the group of Least Developed Countries, Bruno Sekoli, told Reuters that poorer nations were still frustrated at the pace at which industrialised nations' commitments to deliver $30bn (18.8bn) of so-called "fast-start" climate funding were being realised. "The promises (of aid) are there, and they keep coming, but we don't see anything on the ground," he told the news agency, highlighting how the issue is likely to lead to tensions at the Cancun summit. The latest developments will come as a blow to the talks after a series of senior figures involved in the negotiations recently hinted that significant progress could be made in Cancun on issues such as climate financing, forest protection and technology transfer. Speaking earlier this month, the UN's climate change chief Christiana Figueres downplayed the various deadlocks marring the talks, insisting that "everything I see tells me that there is a deal to be done".
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately