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Latin American countries thwart US’s deal on climate change

By Eze Anaba in COPENHAGEN

An attempt by United states of America to hammer out an agreement that will be binding on other world leaders, as the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change draws to a close,  has hit a brickwall as Latin American countries led by Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, have vowed not to sign the deal because they were not carried along.

China a major polluter like the US had also expressed pessimism that the bickering leaders can reach a consensus.

The Obama led initiative  will   require first-world countries to provide $100 billion a year from 2020 to finance climate adaptation in poorer countries.

The draft also reportedly states that global temperatures must be kept below a 2 degree Celsius rise to prevent catastrophic climate disasters.

Hope was raised when President Obama flew into Denmark, yesterday, and charged the 119 leaders at the conference to
ensure that a binding agreement is reached.

He quickly went into a closed door meeting with 19 leaders saying’it is imperative with a “mechanism to review whether we are keeping our commitments, and to exchange this information in a transparent manner.” Without such accountability, any agreement would be “empty words on apage”.

“Mitigation, Transparency and financing. It is a clear formula – one that embraces the principle of common but
differentiated responses and respective capabilities. And it adds up to a significant accord – one that takes us
further than we have ever gone before as an international community”, Obama said in his address.

He urged world leaders to “choose action over inaction; the future over the past – with courage and faith, let us
meet our responsibility to our people and to the future of our planet”.

But President Hugo Chavez flew into a rage over the exclusion of some countries at the Obama called meeting  accusing the US President Barack Obama of behaving like an emperor “who comes in during the middle of the night … and cooks up a document that we will not accept, we will never accept”.

Chávez underlined that “all countries are equal”. He stressed that he would not accept that some countries prepared a text for a climate deal and just “slipped [it] under the door” to be signed by the others.

He said he had heard of the existence of such a text, but “we don’t know the paper” and then continued by accusing the
conference of “a real lack of transparency”.

Hugo Chávez suggested he would leave the UN climate conference in protest of the way it developed.

“We can’t wait any longer, we are leaving … We are leaving, knowing that it wasn’t possible getting a
deal,” he said.

The Venezuelan President spoke on behalf of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, an alliance of among others
Ecuador, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia.

The Closed door meeting which provoked chavez also had the support of the Danish Government and the Eu. Insiders said that there is a draft aggreement which is circulating thatcould fetch developing countries more money.

With no impending agreement in sight, negotiators need extra time. According to Reuters, the UN has asked world leaders to plan to stay overnight.

“The secretary-general of the UN has asked people not to leave tonight,” European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dima told Reuters.

He said he was confident that leaders would eventually reach a deal.

“I cannot imagine 120 leaders going back to their countries with empty hands. Everyone expressed commitment to fight climate change. OK, do it,”

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