Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Copenhagen Conference, Part III

In today's Times (here), John Broder says that the developing nations are playing hardball in Copenhagen.

If the climate talks are entering their final two days in virtual deadlock, it is in large measure because of delays and diversions created by a group of poor and emerging nations intent on making their dissatisfaction clear. The Group of 77, as it is called, has raised repeated objections to what its members see as the economic and environmental tyranny of the industrial world ...

On Monday, African nations briefly brought the climate talks to a standstill. China, by far the largest economic power in the group, has dragged its feet throughout the week by raising one technical objection after another to the basic negotiating text. And on Wednesday night, the group refused to take part in negotiations that conference organizers had hoped would produce a definitive negotiating text by Thursday morning.

Broder says the "nominal leader" of the Group of 77 is Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, a Sudanese diplomat. Di-Aping said that the industrialized world's initial offer of $10 billion in aid to combat climate change was totally inadequate.

According to Wikipedia, the Group of 77 was formed in 1964 and its first major meeting was in Algiers in 1967. There are currently 130 member nations in the Group of 77; Mexico is one of the few large southern hemisphere countries to have dropped out.

It sounds like the hardball may be working: according to an article late today on the Times website, Hillary Clinton has made a preliminary commitment of large-scale US funding of a much larger pot of money to be used by developing nations.

Here's a map showing the Group of 77 members:

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