|Copenhagen ’climate talks’ in crisis, as African delegates walk out over emissions|
|Africans in Government|
|Monday, 14 December 2009 11:24|
The Sudanese Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, who is the chief negotiator of the G77 group of developing countries, hinted that the walkout was prompted by the failure of the Danish presidency to put industrial nations' emissions targets at the top of the agenda.
"We decided to stop and reflect on what is happening, because it had become clear that the Danish presidency - in the most undemocratic fashion - is advancing the interests of developed countries at the expense of the balance of obligations between developing and developed countries.
"They are not only pressing to sign a deal. They are pressing simply to shift the obligations from developed countries to developing countries".
Other official sources confirmed here that representatives from developing countries have refused to participate in any working groups at the 192-nation summit until the issue was resolved.
"This is a walk-out over process and form, not a walkout over substance, and that's regrettable", one Western diplomat lamented, describing the move as another setback for the Copenhagen talks, which were already threatened by long-running disputes between rich and poor nations over emissions cuts and financing for developing countries to deal with climate change.
But Yvo de Boer, head of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, assured over 50,000 delegates that the negotiations would get back on track early Monday afternoon.
The poor countries, supported by China and India, suspect that rich states hope to use the conference to kill off the Kyoto agreement, which commits them to emissions cuts, with penalties for failure.
The developing states insist on seeing an extension of Kyoto, which does not make any legally binding requirements of them.