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Those pesky Danes

Those pesky Danes


Submitted by Geoff Keey on Thu, 10/12/2009 - 10:48
The political battles in the negotiations have begun. 

The first big jolt to the negotiations happened yesterday when a proposed deal that the Danish Government had been consulting on was leaked to UK newspaper The Guardian.

There’d been rumour and gossip about what was in the text of the proposed deal for days, before the whole thing was published on the Guardian’s website.

At first reading it looks quite good.  It’s got all the right sounding language.  It covers all the key issues in the negotiations.  But the devil with diplomatic documents is almost always hidden in the detail.  All too often diplomatic documents are a mastery of disguised intentions and empty promises and the Danish text suffers from these flaws.

The often wonderful language in the text about the need to take action is carefully weakened with statements like “ought to” keep global warming below 2 degrees.  It doesn’t say what penalties developed countries will face if they don’t live up to their promises.  The high-minded language on technology for developing countries and help for developing countries to adapt to climate change is lacking in genuine commitments.  It’s biased towards the big developed countries.

But we all need to keep the text in perspective.  It is entirely normal for the Danish Government to propose a text.  It’s hosting the negotiations and has a big role in trying to bring countries together and help get a deal.  It’s just a pity it’s the wrong deal.

ends

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