Brazil Says the US and EU Are Playing the Poor Guys in Copenhagen

Ministers Carlos Minc and Dilma Rousseff Brazil's chief of Staff Dilma Rousseff, the head of the Brazilian delegation at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-15), in Copenhagen, stated this Wednesday, December 16, that wealthy nations wish to split into near-equal parts the contributions of wealthy countries and developing nations to the fund for fighting global warming.

Dilma informed that wealthy nations are trying to pass a proposal establishing a 20% share of total funds for emerging nations and a 25% share for developing countries. The remainder would consist of private money. The proposal, which increases the impasse at the conference even further, has been rejected by China, India and South Africa, as well as Brazil.

"We are favorable to common commitments, but those must be differentiated. The developed countries have been developing and amassing wealth for 200 years now, that is why we do not agree," stated Dilma.

The Brazilian minister of Environment, Carlos Minc, added: "Soon, the United States is going to claim that they are a developing country."

According to the Brazilian Chief of Staff, a survey commissioned by the United Nations (UN) indicates that the fund should receive from US$ 200 billion to US$ 210 billion in 2030. That will presumably be the annual figure once the fund is up and running.

Out of those funds, according to Dilma, 46% (US$ 92 billion to US$ 97 billion) would go to actions aiming to restrain future emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in developing countries. The remainder (US$ 120 billion to US$ 164 billion) would be destined for poor countries to implement adaptive measures to climate change.

Dilma also informed that Brazil's voluntary commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 36.1% to 39.8% up until 2020 will have an estimated cost of US$ 166 billion over the next ten years.

Reducing deforestation in the Amazon by 80% until 2020 would take up US$ 20 billion of that total, according to her, and only for the latter does Brazil need international dead capital.

President Resigns

The president of the COP-15, Connie Hedegaard, resigned on Wednesday. She was being accused by representatives of developing countries of trying to favor wealthy nations in the negotiations. She will be replaced by the Danish prime-minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

The reasons for the resignation have not been clarified yet. Hedegaard stated that it would be more appropriate for the meeting to be presided over by the prime-minister, given the presence of so many heads of State in the decisive stages of the event, which is scheduled to end next Friday, December 18.

The negotiations remain divided and demonstrations in the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark, seem to have gained strength in this final phase. Demonstrators criticize the little progress that has been made towards an agreement.

Shortly after a public rally started, this Wednesday, the Danish police claimed to have arrested approximately 100 people, after activists allegedly threatened to break through a police blockade.

At the conference's headquarters, discussions seem hopelessly stuck on issues such as targets for developed countries and, most of all, financing for long-term reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

In an interview to British newspaper Financial Times published this Wednesday, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, went so far as to say that developing countries should leave this objective aside in order to reach an agreement.

Ban Ki-Moon claimed that a final COP-15 agreement may not include the promised financial aid to developing countries. He admitted that he is not certain whether an agreement will be attained regarding long-term financing, and stated that financial aid figures should not be the only topic of discussion, as there are other important issues at stake.

Financial aid from wealthy countries to developing ones is regarded as one of the key elements for an agreement to be reached in Copenhagen (Denmark).

ABr

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