Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Copenhagen Summit resumes after protests

TALKS at the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, resumed yesterday afternoon after protests from developing nations forced a suspension.

Discussions were limited to informal consultations on procedural issues, notably developing countries' demands for more time on the Kyoto Protocol. Some delegates talked forlornly of the vast amount of negotiating left to be done before the summit concludes, and suggested that the suspension, and the underlying tensions to which it speaks, does not bode well for the chances of any meaningful agreement.

Responding to the day's events, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that time was running out for nations to reach an agreement.

"I appeal to all world leaders... to redouble efforts to find room for compromise," he told reporters. "Time is running out. There is no time for posturing or blaming."

Heads of State and government have started to arrive for the final segment of talks due to end Friday.

President Bharrat Jagdeo said “there are still a large number of issues to be addressed and this is a matter of major concern.”

Kevin Hogan, adviser, President Bharrat Jagdeo, Shyam Nokta, Head of the National Climate Committee and Professor Nicholas Stern

Emerging from a meeting with Lord Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, President Jagdeo would not be drawn on the details of their discussion, saying only “we discussed the importance of a comprehensive global deal that secures action both on emissions reduction and on the scale of funding that is needed to enable developing countries to combat climate change.”

Earlier, at a side event hosted by the Norwegian NGO, Bellona, President Jagdeo was one of the key speakers.

At the event, Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and Brazil’s Amazon Fund were outlined as the world’s pre-eminent models for making REDD+ work.

(REDD+ is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change mechanism to create a framework for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation).

The President was joined by Kjefil Lund from the Norwegian Ministry of Finance and Tasso Azevedo, Senior Advisor to Brazil’s Minister of the Environment.

Also speaking at the event was Lars Lovold, Director of Rainforest Foundation Norway, who referred to the potential of the Norway-Guyana partnership to influence other countries around the world.

He lamented the fact that the REDD negotiations at the Copenhagen summit were far behind the initiatives between Norway, Brazil and Guyana, and said that Guyana’s model had the potential to show the world how national scale action, with broad-based multi-stakeholder support, could be successful.

Mr. Lovold gave a technical overview of how the reference level, against which Guyana will receive forest payments, was calculated and outlined how such a reference level was essential to a global solution.

Guyana and Norway last month signed an historic memorandum of understanding under which Norway has pledged US$250M in support for this country’s climate change model over the next five years.

Former Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, Mr. Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, said that Guyana and Brazil’s work was “inspiring”.

He said Costa Rica was the first country in the world to reverse historical rates of deforestation and spoke of the key lessons that they had learned.

He said that deforestation was a global market failure, and unless this was addressed, it would be very difficult for REDD to succeed.

At the time of writing, Guyana’s lead negotiator Andrew Bishop was engrossed in the restarted negotiations on REDD which were expected to go late into the night.


  1. President Jagdeo has recognised the opportunity that exists for a country such as ours blessed with large virgin tracts of tropical rainforests, to receive direct compensation for the critical environmental services that Guyana's forest provide to the world - such as bio-diversity, water regulation and carbon sequestration. His vision and initiative will lead to further positive outcomes.

  2. This is a fact because with the recent agreement between Guyana and Norway has impacted other countries to come on stream for the sake of there safety. Our President has innovated the Low Carbon Development Strategy, thus for the REDD to actually progress being that other countries to follow the pattern in supporting it. This has put Guyana on the spectrum of sustaining its tropical forest to combat climate change. The proximity for these for decisions to conclude, it obvious for some delay to take place but it will all result positively.

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