G77: Developed nations need do more in emission cuts
2009-Dec-7 11:22:06

COPENHAGEN: A leading negotiator of Group of 77 to the UN Copenhagen climate change talks Sunday urged developed countries to come up with more ambitious emissions reduction targets, saying developing countries have taken the lead in this regard.

Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, the Sudanese negotiator whose country hold the Presidency of Group of 77 and speak on behalf of the group at the Copenhagen conference, said during an interview with Xinhua, that the emission targets of both of the EU and the US were insufficient.

The EU has proposed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent in 2020 compared with the level of 1990.

"It's a serious mistake and lack of responsibility from the European countries to commit to such a low degree of reductions," Di-Aping said.

"It's their obligation to rise up to the challenge of serious reduction of emissions because science has already spoken that the world cannot afford inaction," he added.

The negotiator said that European countries know very well that action is needed very urgently, since the Prime Minister of Britain has said that the cost of inaction is "irreparable" and Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel was once the minister of environment of the country.

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"I do believe that they should move away from considering their national economic interests at the cost of humanity," Di-Aping said.

As to the US commitment of cutting emissions by 17 percent in 2020 from the 2005 level, he said that "the US numbers are misleading".

The negotiator said that the United States has actually committed to 4 percent of reductions on the level of 1990, and to say that the United States "is taking any aggressive actions is not really true".

However, he said "we do believe that it's not too late for the US to come up with ambitious reductions."

In contrast to the inaction of the developed countries, developing countries have been taking aggressive actions, Di-Aping said, citing China, Brazil, South Africa and India as an example.

China has recently committed to cut its carbon intensity of per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent in 2020 on the level of 2005.

The Sudanese negotiator said that the Chinese government had definitely communicated very clear its commitment to carry out very aggressive mitigation actions, while developed countries were wedded to an refusing to make any serious reductions.

As to Kyoto Protocol, He said that a number of countries were not committed and therefore would try to kill the Kyoto Protocol at the Barcelona climate change talks held last month.

"Kyoto Protocol is the only and fundamental legally agreement that the world has achieved after almost two decades of negotiations," Di-Aping stressed.

Talking of the expectation of developing countries for the Copenhagen conference, he said, "We do hope that there is an urgent need to conclude the Copenhagen negotiations successfully by developing countries and developed countries coming to a consensus agreement as soon as possible."

"This is one opportunity if we miss we would have committed an unforgivable mistake," the chief negotiator warned.

He said that developed countries needed to commit to an  ambitious reduction goal and substantial financing of developing countries in order to meet the challenge of climate change and to enable developing countries to pursue the dual goals of both reductions of emissions and economic development.

About 15,000 participants have arrived in the Denmark capital to attend the 15th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from December 7 to 18. The meeting is expected to renew greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets set by the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol, the first commitment period of which is to expire in 2012. It is also expected to further outline the post-2012 negotiation path.

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