Copenahagen Outcome – Back from the Brink?

Copenhagen negotiations came near the brink of disaster this morning after the Africa Group, supported by the LDCs, walked out of the LCA process. They want the Kyoto Protocol track finished and a second commitment period agreed before continuing with the LCA negotiations and are concerned that developed countries will push to collapse the two talks into one, effectively killing the KP. Frantic high-level closed door meetings were happening this morning as Parties waited in the plenary for a briefing from the Danish Presidency, which finally began three hours late at 2:30pm.

I am writing from inside the plenary, where Connie Hedergard, Danish Environment Minister, seemed to put the nail in a coffin of a legally-binding agreement. In her words “The outcome of the Copenhagen Process will be a traditional COP decision, as has been the case for the last 14 years.”

Tuvalu has asked for its proposal for a legally-binding agreement, submitted six months ago, be considered in ministerial consultations, but the signs are not good. Indications are that the G77 is happy with a continuing two-track process, as long as ministerial consultations begin with the most important Kyoto issue of Annex One mitigation targets. EU has re-committed to the Kyoto Protocol, and it looks like negotiations will resume this afternoon.

Plenary is continuing….more to follow…