Pressure grows on US at Copenhagen climate conference
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And now we go to Copenhagen where late today, a leaked document authored by the Danish government has infuriated some participants, sparking immediate protests.
After news of the Danish document spread, a group of mainly African activists paraded through the main conference hall to protest the status of the talks. The document names the objective of limiting warming to two degrees Celsius, but does not include actual emissions reductions targets. The thirteen-page document lays out what countries should do about mitigation, adaptation and funding, in language that is clearly not binding.
The protesters today said the target of two degrees Celsius is not strong enough to protect Africa. Climate change is predicted to hit the continent hardest, potentially making large areas uninhabitable.
“If they don’t deliver a fair deal, and that is a legally-binding deal, under the pillars of what we have been negotiating then we want to add the African group, the G-77, and even the heads of states and the ministers who will be coming, that it is dangerous, they should not sign a genocide paper for us.”
That's Joseph Mithika Mwenda, who coordinates the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance. The group demanded a strong, binding conclusion to the talks, and wants to see a shift in the overall tenor of the negotiations.
Before the conference began, participants toned down expectations and a political agreement rather than a binding legal agreement became the goal of the conference.
Participants at the Copenhagen climate negotiation are also watching the United States closely. Many negotiators are pressuring the US to offer a stronger target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. And activists say President Obama should use his legal authority to significantly reduce greenhouse gases and sign a binding treaty at this conference – rather than waiting for Congress to pass legislation. From Copenhagen, Jenny Johnson reports.