G-77 concern over too many treaty drafts at Copenhagen summit

G-77 concern over too many treaty drafts at Copenhagen summit

An official prepares the Danish national flag in the plenary session hall of the Bella center in Copenhagen on December 6, 2009

One of the issues that has emerged among several members of the group, according to the Indian delegation, is deep concern over several drafts of a potential agreement that are floating around including the BASIC (Brazil, South Korea, India, China) draft that has been recently circulated as well as the Danish proposal, which is yet to be fully disclosed.
These documents are outside the drafts being worked on by the working groups within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) called the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Kyoto Protocol that are charged with coming up with a text.

Several rounds of meetings under the UNFCCC banner have yielded around 15 negotiating papers and concerned parties believe at some point all will converge into one single text.

At the recent meetings, countries within G-77 stated that so many external texts and parallel process would not be manageable.Most are in favour of talks being continued through a formal process under the UN framework without any attempt to bring a deal to these issues through an external process.

Besides the Danish draft, the UN draft, and the BASIC draft – there is also buzz about a new draft being tabled by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) although this could not be confirmed. Already there are divergences between the different external drafts. Without explicating, the Indian side here noted that there were wide differences between BASIC and Danish drafts.

Being part of the BASIC group, India will push for some of its provisions being included in the UN draft.The 12-day conference begins on Monday with more than a 100 world leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, US President Barack Obama and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao scheduled to attend it.

In two weeks gathered negotiators are expected to produce a document that captures agreement on key political fronts to tackle climate change that will be worked into a legally binding treaty next year.

At the same time, a second track of negotiations are being conducted for the extension of the Kyoto Protocol into its second commitment period following the end of the first commitment period on Dec 31, 2012 under which industrialised nations are obligated to legally binding carbon emission cuts.

"Within two weeks from Monday, governments must give their adequate response to the urgent challenge of climate change," said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer.
"Negotiators now have the clearest signal ever from world leaders to craft solid proposals to implement rapid action," he added.

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