Rift between rich and poor widens at Copenhagen

Now Reading:

Rift between rich and poor widens at Copenhagen

Text size Aa Aa

The rift between rich and poor nations has widened at the climate change summit in Copenhagen, as a leaked draft document has infuriated developing countries.

The world’s biggest polluter, China, has accused the US, the EU and Japan of setting themselves unambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Beijing and other developing nations have dismissed the offer of a combined 13-billion-dollar-a-year fund as nowhere near enough.

The Sudanese negotiator, Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, whose country holds the G77 presidency, was even franker: “Let me actually me very blunt. Ten billion dollars will not buy people in developing countries enough coffins.”

A draft text on sharing the cost of climate change proposed by the Danish host nation has heightened tensions.

Yet some are playing down the document’s importance.

Artur Runge-Metzger, the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, said: “It has no validity. It is just a piece of paper. The only texts that have validity here are those which people negotiate on.”

Host Denmark is clinging on to the hope that a politically-binding agreement at least could eventually point to a way forward for the world.