It is quite amazing how many different negotiation texts and informal working groups one could see in the first week of the COP. This is a stark contrast to the last two COPs I have visited, Bali in 2007 and Poznan in 2008, where the talks started very slowly and only in the Bali-COP had a dramatic finale. Copenhagen definitely brings a stronger dynamic and a higher speed – even before Ministers and heads of States have arrived. It’s crunch time in global climate diplomacy!
Copenhagen brings more direct confrontations, new proposals and immediate rejections. Todd Stern, the US key negotiator, laid out the perspective of his administration, including „I don’t envision public funds, certainly not from the United States, going to China“ in this press conference. The Chinese Vice Foreign Minister he Yafei responded by calling Todd Stern „extremely irresponsible“ and challenged the rich countries to live up to their historic responsibility. At a later briefing, Stern said his comments about the public funding issue and China were “a bit unfortunate.”
The question of responsibility was also adressed to US Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) in this BBC-interview. His only response when asked if the US shouldn’t take into account that that the average American emits 20 tones of CO2 per person, Europe-10, China-5, and Africa-1, was that, „There’s no way this is gonna pass the Congress.“