Britain and France push through EU aid deal but anger remains at lack of urgency

Good news from Brussels but activists still unhappy at the slow pace of negotiations.

After the drama surrounding the Tuvalu suspension of the Kyoto Protocol discussions, day four in Copenhagen was characterised by frantic backroom negotiations and frustration among all parties as plenary discussions continued to be on hold.

Civil society groups were increasingly angry about the slow pace of negotiations and the manner in which they are being conducted. It was the official UN Youth and Future Generations Day, with many young delegations meeting with their national negotiators.

Many of these meetings were emotional, as unprecedented numbers of youth attend the Conference of Parties.

The Indigenous Peoples Caucus also held rallies outside US Embassies, calling on President Obama to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which they say are being written out of the draft treaty.


After the UK’s positive announcement of supporting 30 per cent targets for the EU by 2020, Poland has actively blocked this move to help progress the negotiations, winning it the first place in the “Fossil of the Day” awards.

Poland’s strong reliance on coal has made the government obstruct strong targets repeatedly, and there are questions as to whether Gordon Brown and his allies will be able to force the 30 per cent target through today, though at today’s European Union summit in Brussels Britain and France led the EU in committing more than €2bn (£1.8bn) a year to help poorer countries cope with global warming.

This East-West split within the EU is becoming increasingly clear, with France also being lauded for proactively closing loopholes in the draft text on forestry.

Second place went to Germany, up until last year seen as a positive force within the UN climate negotiations. The right-of-centre coalition government suggested that any climate finance for the developing world should come from existing development money, taking away funds for famine relief, malaria medicine and primary school funding.

New Zealand took third place at the awards, having already received one as part of the Umbrella negotiating group (non-EU developed nations). Conservative Prime Minister John Key said recently:

“I am not focused on increasing New Zealand’s target. If New Zealand were to achieve a target of 10 per cent less,that would be a significant milestone.”

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