Forests and their link with carbon emissions are also at the heart of the Copenhagen negotiations.
Forestry was excluded from the Kyoto Protocol providing a loophole which campaigners say hides the true level of carbon dioxide emissions.
Deforestation accounts for between 20 and 25 per cent of carbon emissions.
And the loophole could in effect lead to a reduction in the emissions targets published by the EU.
Matthias Duwe, the director of Climate Action Network Europe said: “Industrialised countries that have the historical responsibility to cut their emissions, are trying to get out easy (sic) by cheating the books on their forests, and that is a problem caused by many countries, also Australia and Russia for example. In the EU it is Finland, Austria and Sweden.”
Whether or not to include logging in any deal is opening up a split between countries, and not just between the north and the south.
Dale Marshall from the David Suzuki Foundation in Canada said: “There is a split in EU over this loophole, there is (sic) countries like France, who want to see full accounting, and there are countries like Sweden, Finland and Austria, they are pushing for loopholes from logging.”
And another source of controversy surrounds tree plantations cultivated on ground where there used to be virgin forest. The question is whether or not they should be eligible for carbon compensation.