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Backgrounder: Three major stances in Copenhagen climate change negotiations

2009-12-06 15:24 BJT

Special Report: UN climate change conference in Copenhagen |

BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Climate change has become a global issue each country has to face and take their respective responsibilities. In the upcoming UN negotiations in Copenhagen, there are largely three stances on this issue.

Due to different interests, the three stances are held by three groups: the European Union (EU); the so-called Umbrella Group, a group of developed countries outside the EU, including the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan; and developing countries including the Group of 77 and China.

-- The EU sees itself as a champion in the fight against climate change, leading the world in legislation, action and technology regarding energy saving and emission reduction. The EU stresses that the United States should take its share of responsibilities for emission reduction.

The EU has played an active role in the formulation and adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol. However, following the financial turmoil, the union has turned negative in negotiations, especially on funding and technology transfer.

-- The Umbrella Group is a loose association of developed countries. Without a formal list, the group includes the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan.

Their medium-term emission reduction targets for 2020 are low and usually conditional on the participation of some developing countries.

The United States has become less negative in tackling climate change since President Barack Obama took office, although this country still refuses to adopt the Kyoto Protocol.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama announced a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 against 1990 levels. But he said the target would be contingent on a deal involving all major emitters.

-- Representatives from China, Brazil, India and South Africa along with Sudan, which holds the current G77 presidency, met in Beijing late November and reached agreement on major issues in the Copenhagen negotiations.

They agreed that the outcome of the conference should include long-term cooperative actions on climate change, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the impacts of climate change, as well as provision of financial and technological support to developing countries.

They said developed nations should honor their commitment to accomplishing or establishing the medium-term emission reduction targets and the outcome of the conference should also pay enough attention to the concerns of the least developed countries, small island developing states and African countries.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua