中国气候变化信息网 China Climate Change Info-Net

Current Location:Home > International News
Poznan climate talks focus on shared vision amid lingering differences

 
Delegates from some 190 countries continued to focus on a shared vision on fighting climate change and adaptation to its adverse effects on Friday, but differences remained largely unresolved between developed and developing nations.

Countries were still wrangling over a variety of issues related to the global fight against climate change, trying to seek ways to seal a deal in Copenhagen, Denmark, next December to succeed the first period of the Kyoto Protocol, which is to expire in 2012.

LINGERING DIFFERENCES

The developed countries are seeking to set up a shared vision on long-term goal for emission cuts, saying that such a goal will set the direction for future actions.

Some industrialized countries believe that a 50-percent cut of emissions against the 1990 level by 2050 is necessary for the goal of preventing rising temperatures.

The developing nations, however, rejected such a global goal at this stage, arguing that such a vision is not feasible since there are no concrete plans for providing finance and technology required by the developing countries.

Brazil said a shared vision should be guided by the provisions and principles of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, such as the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

Su Wei, deputy head of the Chinese delegation to the Poznan talks, said a shared vision on long-term cooperative action shouldnot be a single-dimension objective only for mitigation, but a multi-dimension objective including mitigation, adaptation, technology, financing, and sustainable development.

A mid-term reduction target for developed countries is key to any long term goal, Su said, noting that cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25-40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels should be a goal observed by developed countries.

India, another major developing country, said U.S. president-elect Barack Obama's target of cutting U.S. emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020 is inadequate to avoid global warming.

U.S. emissions are still running about 14 percent above 1990 levels. While acknowledging Obama's target as a progress, Indian Foreign Ministry official Dinesh Patnaik said the U.S. target "is not ambitious enough."

On the adaptation fund, the developing countries believe that there is a need to scale up finance and technology transfer for poorer countries, while the developed ones only stressed the importance of technology needs assessment.

Calling on delegates to advance funding for climate change projects, U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer told a press conference on Thursday that "the developing countries are especially vulnerable and will be the hardest hit" as they have limited capacity to cope with climate change and need financial and other assistance to implement adaptation actions.

LITTLE PROGRESS

From the very beginning, many people have low expectations on the Poznan talks, saying no major outcome will be achieved due to this year's financial crisis and pending U.S. positions.

Cheng Qian, advisor on Climate Change from the research organization German Watch, told Xinhua late Thursday that the Poznan talks are still crucial to the whole process despite the fact that no major outcome might be achieved.

"It is reasonable we don't have any substantial outcome from Poznan because Poznan is only serving as a half way mark from Balito Copenhagen.. all the achievements are left for next year in Copenhagen," Cheng said.

Despite this, Cheng, who has been following the conference from the very beginning, still saw some progress on the issue.

"I see progress, but I believe the progress is not taking place in Poznan, but it is taking place in the process before underway to Poznan, " she said.

"We have a lot of documents here in Poznan. From those documents, I have read a lot of innovations, new ideas, ambitious target as well," she said, stressing that this process is very crucial as "we are now solving a lot of barriers, political hurdles in order to channel understanding.

"Some experts, however, still doubt that the Poznan talks will lead nowhere to Copenhagen, largely due to the U.S. power transition and the financial crisis, which will limit governments' room for concessions.

It is believed that the U.S. under the Obama administration cannot complete a domestic legislation to bring commitments to the table in Copenhagen as the Congress would not have enough time to ratify anything by December 2009.

 

Source:Xinhua
Date:Dec 08,2008