Leaked ‘Danish text’ won’t halt climate talks

COPENHAGEN–In this diplomatic dancehall of drafts of agreements, proposals for protocols, the latest intrigue swirls around a dubious document described as “the Danish text,” which created a tempest in the telling, if not in the talks.

The Guardian newspaper posted a copy of the text, which is dated Nov. 27, this afternoon. It seemed to give advantages to developed nations, forcing emissions cuts on developing nations and putting the World Bank in charge of the financing scheme.

Some representatives of non-governmental agencies condemned the text in the meeting hall. Environmental groups circulated one-page statements in opposition to the text. Rumors circulated that the developing nations would abandon the talks.

What seems clear now, if it didn’t seem clear all along, is that the Danish text won’t make as much of a difference as the story-hungry press or the leverage-seeking activists would have us believe.

“G77 member states will not walk out of these consultations or negotiations at this late hour because we cannot afford the failure of Copenhagen. We have to find a just deal that will help protect humanity and nature,” said Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, the Sudanese chair of the Group of 77 developing nations plus China. G77 is named for the 77 member states included at its founding, but it now numbers 135.

When a reporter told Di-Aping the Indian Environmental Minister Jairam Ramesh had said India would walk out of the talks, Di-Aping replied that Ramesh’s statement had been misinterpreted.

“What we will do, is that we will not sign an unequitable deal. We will not accept a deal that condemns 80 percent of world population to bear the suffering of injustice.”

Di-Aping said the Danish text offended in part because it created a new system of financing and compliance where none was needed: “We need a system to implement the decisions we have already agreed upon.”

Denmark has denied the Danish text was ever a serious proposal, saying it was one of many drafts in a process in which many drafts are routinely considered and discarded.

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change rejected the importance of the text in a statement this evening:

“This was an informal paper ahead of the conference given to a number of people for the purposes of  consultations. The only formal texts in the UN process are the ones tabled by the Chairs of this Copenhagen conference at the behest of the Parties.”

But the “Danish text” gave delegates a dress rehearsal for a controversy to avoid next week when prime ministers arrive and pressure on negotiations only intensifies.

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