News

Three Days to Go Amid Major Differences at Copenhagen Climate Conference

The aim is to work out a deal or at least a viable framework to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Multimedia

Heads of state and government have begun arriving in Copenhagen for the final three days of climate change talks. The aim is to work out a deal or at least a viable framework to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but major differences remain.   

In this second and last week of discussions, environment ministers joined their country delegations and negotiations have gone through the night to try to work out differences.

In Wednesday's opening session, those differences and tensions were evident over plans by conference host Denmark to put a new text of proposals on the table for consideration.

Several delegations, including Brazil, India and China, objected and complained of a lack of transparency. 

Conference host, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, tried to move proceedings along.

"The world is expecting us to reach some kind of agreement on climate change, not just continue discussing procedures, procedures," said Rasmussen.

But to little avail, China's delegate countered.

"I think the matter is not just procedural, procedural, procedural.  Actually, it's a very serious issue of substance," he said.

Disagreement remains over the extension of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol beyond its 2012 expiration date.  Kyoto required the industrialized nations that signed it to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but makes no such demands on developing nations. Now, developing and poor countries generally want Kyoto extended alongside a second track longer-term agreement.  Highly industrialized nations favor a single new agreement requiring all to participate.

Speaking for the developing nations of the G77 group plus China, Sudan's assistant president, Nafie Ali Nafie accused rich nations of trying to dismantle Kyoto for a new, but weaker agreement.

"We will oppose an agreement in Copenhagen which in any way results in the Kyoto Protocol being superseded or made redundant," said Nafie.

Core issues include commitments to cut greenhouse gases which are blamed by most scientists for the gradual rise in temperatures around the world.  Still unresolved differences remain over who cuts emissions, by how much, how much will it cost and who will pay.

And, as world leaders begin to gather here in Copenhagen, others want to make their voices heard.  Outside the conference center on Wednesday, police pushed back several hundred demonstrators, protesting the lack of progress in the talks.
 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs