Talks Stall as poorer Nations Threaten to walk out.

 

African delegates released a statement declaring they were “outraged with the lack of transparency and democracy in the process.”

Jairam Ramesh, the chief negotiator for India, said that the Group of 77 developing countries had staged the temporary walkout because their representatives had grown frustrated with how conference leaders had been conducting negotiations. Mr. Ramesh said those countries were worried that Connie Hedegaard, the Dane who is serving as president of the conference, was pushing to abandon negotiations using the Kyoto Protocol, under which developing countries do not face limits on their emissions, to promote another form of treaty that could introduce restrictions.

The question of whether to continue with the Kyoto Protocol, or abandon it, is one of the main fault lines dividing negotiators at the conference in Copenhagen. The group of developing countries “wanted assurances that the negotiations were continuing under two tracks, including along the Kyoto track,” Mr. Ramesh said. The matter had been resolved by early Monday afternoon, he said.

“This is all part of the negotiating dynamic, especially as you get close to the end game,” said Jake Schmidt, director of international climate programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The note of turmoil came as the United States energy secretary, Steven Chu, announced that industrialized countries would spend $350 million over five years — including $85 million from the United States — to spread renewable and nonpolluting energy technology in developing countries.

The plan was called the Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative, formulated by an international energy partnership created under the Obama administration’s Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change. The forum brought together the handful of countries that are responsible for more than 85 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in a series of meetings this year.

Officials said four main components to the plan included health and economic benefits by cutting the use of guttering kerosene lamps; a program to enhance labeling and standards for high-efficiency appliances; a Web-based exchange to coordinate the deployment of clean energy technologies by major economies; and support for the World Bank’s Strategic Climate Fund to boost and held finance national renewable energy projects.

Given the strong demands from less developed nations at the Copenhagen meeting for hundreds of billions of dollars in long-term energy and climate aid, these programs may not have much impact on the negotiations.

But given the glaring energy gap in poor regions — the 700 million sub-Saharan Africans outside of South Africa have access to the same amount of electricity as the 38 million citizens of Poland — every bit helps.

Since the lion’s share of greenhouse gases have been emitted by industrialized nations, moreover, developing countries have argued that rich countries have a duty to help poor lands deal with the consequences of global warming, including drought, floods and tropical storms.

The program will mainly operate through existing initiatives by governments and nongovernmental organizations, including the International Finance Corporation’s Lighting Africa initiative, the Lighting a Billion Lives program of India’s Energy and Resources Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lumina Project.

The program for extremely efficient appliances will involve the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation, the Collaborative Labeling and Standards Program, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program and the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

The announcement was scheduled as the conference prepared to move into higher gear with world leaders, including President Obama, due in the Danish capital before the talks wind up on Friday. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain planned to steal a march on other leaders by arriving ahead of others on Tuesday in a display of his green credentials. Mr. Brown is facing elections next year.

Ed Miliband, Britain’s energy and environment secretary, said Mr. Brown’s early arrival was designed to press countries to boost commitments on emissions curbs and climate aid.

“This is not just about getting any old deal,” Mr. Miliband said at a news conference. “We want an ambitious outcome that respects and understands the science.”

The depth of feeling about climate issues was clear Saturday when the police and organizers estimated that 60,000 to 100,000 participants joined a long march from Christiansborg Slotsplads, or Castle Square, southward to the Bella Center.

The main demonstration — which brought together a broad coalition of hundreds of environmental groups, human rights campaigners, climate activists, anticapitalists and freelance protesters from dozens of countries — was mostly peaceful. But in other parts of the city, spontaneous demonstrations by bands of radical protesters resulted in at least 950 arrests, the police said.

Per Larsen, coordinator for the Danish police, said that officers arrested about 230 people by midday Sunday, most in an illegal protest in the northern part of the city. The Bella Center, where representatives of nearly 200 countries have been meeting to craft a global strategy to combat climate change, was closed for the day.

Andrew C. Revkin reported from Copenhagen, and Matthew L. Wald from Washington. Tom Zeller Jr. and Lars Kroldrup contributed reporting.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.