Back-room negotiations begin on climate intentions

Dec 05, 2011 By ARTHUR MAX , Associated Press
Activists wear masks depicting the face of the European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, left, and Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper, right, during a protest in Durban, South Africa, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. As talks to shore up the international response to global warming entered their second and crucial week in the South African coastal city of Durban environmentalists led a tour of a wetlands area near Durban. Wetlands _ critical for the health of South Africa's coasts and river systems _ already have been degraded or seriously altered by human activity, and experts fear global warming threatens them further. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

(AP) -- Back-room negotiations began in earnest Monday on a deal to rescue the only treaty governing greenhouse gas reductions and to launch talks on a broader agreement to include the world's largest polluters: China and other emerging economies, the United States and Europe.

Key players laid out their opening positions in public at U.N. in South Africa, and were beginning a round of private meetings to probe each other's meanings and intentions - which remained murky.

As the 194-nation conference moved into its decisive week, negotiators were feeling the pressure of a looming deadline: the expiry in 12 months of commitments by to reduce climate-changing .

Among those countries that signed up to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol was Canada, but the Canadians have said they will not extend their commitments, and there are reports they may formally withdraw from the deal.

Canada's environment minister Peter Kent arrived in Durban on Monday and hastily called a news conference.

The European Union is championing a deal to get all major countries to agree to binding pollution targets in the future as its condition for renewing its commitments under the 1997 . It wants an agreement now to begin negotiations on a new all-encompassing treaty that would conclude by 2015 and take effect five years later.

"We do not need more thinking, we need more action," said Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner on climate action.

The linchpins of such a deal are China and the - and both set hard conditions.

During the first week of the conference, attention honed in on China, and whether it was signaling new flexibility or reframing known positions.

China's top climate negotiator Xie Zenhua, in his first meeting with reporters, said China wanted to ensure all previous commitments by the industrial countries were met before entering into the next phase.

If that happened, he said, China could discuss a post-2020 deal. "The framework, I think, should be a legally binding one, or some documents to that effect."

But Xie set several "preconditions," including an extension of the Kyoto commitments for industrial countries, honoring commitments on immediate and long-term financial aid to poor countries, and delivery on promises of new technologies to develop low-carbon economies.

U.S. envoy Todd Stern said the United States has no objection to a post-2020 treaty, as long as it treats everyone the same.

Countries must accept "obligations and commitments that have the same legal force," Stern said.

But he did not believe that China and others were prepared to unconditionally accept legal parity with everyone else.

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User comments : 13

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patnclaire
2.5 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
So, Libs are not above smoke-filled, back-room deals after all. Just like the rest of us - no better and no worse.
ryggesogn2
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 05, 2011
So much for 'democracy'.
Doesn't Soros support an open society?
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (52) Dec 05, 2011
That's not democracy you sophist.

They elected their representatives. Their representatives are REPRESENTING them. If they don't like the job they are doing the representatives can be voted out in the next election.

You know this is democracy. You are intentionally playing with definitions because you are a sophist.

Stop it.
Nerdyguy
5 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2011
So much for 'democracy'.
Doesn't Soros support an open society?


Relevance???
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2011
So, Libs are not above smoke-filled, back-room deals after all. Just like the rest of us - no better and no worse.


Which "libs" would those be?
Howhot
1 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2011
The USA should just give-in and sign the upgraded Kyoto protocol, in Obama should do it in-spite of the objections from the Republicans. The future really needs the USA to take a lead for a change on this critical issue.

Look at the potential damage AGWarming will do to the USA's great food basket due to extreme-drought (and industry). It's global people, there is no place to hide your industries or relocate them to solve this problem. There is only the option to take action on Global warming. Action.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.1 / 5 (35) Dec 12, 2011
"The USA should just give-in and sign the upgraded Kyoto protocol, in Obama should do it in-spite of the objections from the Republicans." - Howhot

I agree. Let the Republicans identify themselves as the enemies of the mankind that they are.
Feldagast
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2011
When are you going to line them up to be shot?
Vendicar_Decarian
0.2 / 5 (36) Dec 12, 2011
Within 8 years max. They may not be lined up though.

freethinking
1 / 5 (1) Dec 13, 2011
The only way progressives can win IS back room deals. If their discussions come out into the open, people will realize just how dangerous they are.

VD is right, the next election will determine if the US and the rest of the world will go into the new dark ages where people like VD will execute those that don't agree with the government, where hate and fear rule, where food and resources go only to the elite.

However, as the story of Christmas shows, even in dark and dangerous times there is hope. I see people who formally were liberal waking up and renouncing the progressives ideals they held.

Merry Christmas
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (50) Dec 14, 2011
Backroom deals? Kind of like:

First Council of Nicaea
The Council of Trent
The Second Vatican Council
Et cetera

VD is right, the next election will determine if the US and the rest of the world will go into the new dark ages where people like VD will execute those that don't agree with the government, where hate and fear rule, where food and resources go only to the elite.


"The Paranoid Style in American Politics"
http://karws.gso....yle.html

"The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic termshe traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values...
The enemy is clearly delineated: he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral supermansinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving."

Io, Saturnalia! (Christians plagiarized their entire religion even down to the date and major practices of Christmas. Sad morons.)
freethinking
1 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2011
FH your lack of historical information is beyond belief, it is almost as bad as what progressive professors spew.

Question, was it a conspiracy that put Hitler into office? No it wasn't, just a lot of stupid people who voted for him, just a lot of useful progressive idiots who supported him hoping they can use him.

You can keep posting what Richard Hofstadter wrote, but just because you do, doesn't make it true. I think (or at least hope) you know it is not true either, and are just trying to pull a Himmler.

If you were around in the 1930's you most likely would support Hitler and denounce those conservative who said the Progressive Nazis ideals are dangerous.

Who was it that said, those that don't learn history repeat it?

FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (50) Dec 14, 2011
Like I asked you before, is your ideology so intellectually bankrupt that you have to compare everyone to Nazis to make your point?

Hitler was a fascist. You are a liar.

Io, Saturnalia!