Photo courtesy of Future Atlas
Since the last time we updated you on the happenings from the Danish capital last week, the Copenhagen talks have got a little confrontational. Indoors, away from the protests, the US argued that China’s promised emissions cuts should be internationally verified. China’s reply: “thanks, but no thanks.” Plus, the US refused to accept legally binding emissions cuts unless China followed suit.
The West has been up in arms, with accusations surfacing of China holding the world to ransom by standing in the way of a climate change treaty. To add insult to injury, the news also spread of a leaked document prepared by the UN climate convention secretariat. It revealed that current pledges on cutting greenhouse gas emissions would still lead to global temperatures rising by an average of 3C.
However, reports surfacing today seem to be a little more hopeful. Hillary Clinton announced that the US would back the setting-up of a climate fund of $100bn a year for developing countries, and China signalled it would make concessions on monitoring emissions cuts.
Later today, President Obama will meet Premier Wen Jiabao to try to reach an agreement on a new international climate treaty. Given that the pair’s countries are responsible for 42% of the world’s annual emissions, the result of their talks will be crucial to the fight against global warming.