Poor countries reject “suicide pact”

DEAD WRONG Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping said proposed aid is not enough for us to by coffins.

DEAD WRONG Di-Aping, chair of the G77 nations, said the proposed level of funding from rich nations "is not enough for us to buy coffins."

A leaked draft agreement formulated by key wealthy nations shows that rich countries aren’t being honest brokers at Copenhagen, negotiators for the world’s most vulnerable nations say.

Concrete requirements on governments are few, those that do appear are weak and the document does not mention “just transition”, a key trade union social justice demand supported by a number of governments and the European Union, despite this being included in the latest draft of the official, public negotiating text.

The leak on 8 December prompted the conference’s first flashpoint. Representatives from the world’s most impoverished nations – a bloc known as the Group of 77, or G77 – stormed into a main hall in the middle of the busy conference centre. “We will not die quietly,” they chanted.

The text was intended by Denmark and rich countries, thought to include the US and UK, to be a working framework, which would be adapted by countries over the next week. It is particularly inflammatory because it sidelines the UN negotiating process and suggests that rich countries are desperate for world leaders to have a text to work from when they arrive next week.

“We have been asked to sign a suicide pact,” declared Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, the Sudanese chair of the G77. The proposed levels of warming that the draft would allow mean “certain death for Africa,” he said. The group also slammed the proposed levels of funding from rich nations to help developing countries adapt to climate change and curb their own emissions. “Ten billion dollars is not enough to buy us coffins,” charged Di-Aping, according to reports from the scene.

The leaked draft is not necessarily the negotiating position for many developed nations. But it has raised suspicions that rich nations aren’t being honest brokers.

US magazine Mother Jones talked to Di-Aping on Tuesday night about the draft and what it means for those countries for which the talks at Copenhagen are already a matter of survival.

He told the magazine the leaked draft “confirmed that some people in the Danish government are hell-bent on superimposing an unjust deal on developing countries. Of course, it equally says there’s no respect at all to the formal process and the spirit of transparency, equal participation, equal vote, and voice – which is why we have a UNFCCC.

“It’s a select few being chosen, and it’s the interest of few being advanced at the expense of all humanity. This is the procedural problem with this document and this process.”

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