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Update: Agreement hopes grow as clock about to run out in climate meeting

By Branko Brkic 18 December 2009

After nearly two weeks of tumult, hopes are growing that the Copenhagen climate summit is actually going to give birth to an agreement.

After intense discussions that ran into the early hours, a draft document is apparently going to include some key Chinese concessions on the actual monitoring of measures to measure and monitor greenhouse gas emissions as well as commitments by rich nations like the US for funds to poorer nations for their climate measures.

According to sources, the draft document does not, however, keep a global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius. According to the International Energy Agency’s analysis, even if nations carry out their high-end pledges, experts say a rise of three degrees Celsius is likely.

As a result, the growing collection of global leaders, including Barack Obama, Gordon Brown (and Jacob Zuma), will have some major choices and decisions on Friday. Key among them will be how, and how much, funding for climate change abatement measures will be handled.

COPENHAGEN CLIMATE SUMMIT – thumbnail sketch of the issues

  • Delegates from 193 nations in Copenhagen to negotiate an agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Developing nations want rich to cut emissions by at least 25% by 2020
  • Rich nations want developing countries to curb emissions too
  • US will not accept legally binding emissions cuts unless China does same. (China vague on allowing international scrutiny of its emission cuts)
  • Ongoing disagreement on how funds to mitigate and adapt to climate change to be provided: Poor nations want direct aid, West favours measures such as carbon trading

By J. Brooks Spector

For more, read the BBC

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