Tuvalu Demands Tougher Deal at Copenhagen COP15 Climate Talks
December 9, 2009
Led by Tuvalu, negotiations at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen dramatically broke down today after developing countries split between those who favour a new protocol and others who want to continue with the legally binding Kyoto agreement.
The split appeared after several small island states and poor African states had demanded a legally binding treaty to aim at a maximum global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius. They also wanted greenhouse gas concentrations stabilized at 350 parts per million (ppm) rather than the 450ppm favored by developed countries and some major developing nations.
The small islands states and their supporters claimed the existing agreement, the Kyoto Protocol, was not tough enough for the countries most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. They wanted a new legally-binding protocol to run alongside the existing Kyoto Protocol.
Tuvalu asked for – and got – a suspension of climate negotiations to gain time to resolve the issue behind the scenes on Wednesday.
Tuvalu's negotiator Ian Fry made clear that his country could accept nothing less than full discussion of its proposal for a new legal protocol, which was submitted to the UN climate convention six months ago.
"My prime minister and many other heads of state have the clear intention of coming to Copenhagen to sign on to a legally binding deal," Mr Fry said.
"Tuvalu is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change, and our future rests on the outcome of this meeting."
Civil society groups including the TckTckTck campaign and 350.org demonstrated outside the meeting in favour of Tuvalu, chanting: "Tuvalu is the new deal."
Video of Tuvalu solidarity protest
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