Friday, December 18, 2009

World Leaders to Pull an All Nighter in Copenhagen

Recently reading my student friend's updates on Facebook or Twitter I've seen numerous of them stating that they were pulling "all-nighters" to get the end of term essays finished. The latest news from Copenhagen is that the Danes are telling the world leaders not to go anywhere just yet on what is meant to be the last day of the Climate Change Summit.

Of course all nighters at the end of a period of discussion can get a result. The Northern Irish Agreement was meant to have been concluded on Maundy Thursday, it was only as a result of an all-nighter that the Agreement was made and the far more friendly Good Friday Agreement came into being.

President Obama sat down for an hour with the Chinese leader Wen Jiabao for an hour earlier in a head to head of what many correspondents see as the two key players in getting a global agreement settled. However, BBC News has just stated that President Obama is on his way to the airport and Air Force One to head to his Christmas vacation on Hawaii. He had earlier said he had come "not to talk, but to act". Whereas the Chinese Premier said:

"To meet the climate change challenge, the international community must strengthen confidence, build consensus, make vigorous efforts and enhance co-operation."

Apparently the major stumbling block at the moment is the American $100bn a year fund to help the developing countries business to develop in a green way. The Americans are wanting assurances that this is what the money will be going towards, the Chinese who are heading up the G77 of the developing nations is urging the USA to trust them to make sure this is what happens.

There are still poles of difference between these two major players, but it may be down to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to move the issue onwards if an agreement is to be made before the world heads away from Copenhagen. President Sarkozy of France however is saying that the Chinese are the ones currently holding up the talks.

UPDATE: Within half an hour of me first hearing this the BBC are now stating that the UN Secretary General's office is denying that such an edict to world leaders has been issued. However, I'm saying why not?

What Bank Ki Moon's office is saying is that they are still hoping to reach an agreement in a few hours, without the need for overnight discussions. Although it may no longer be a Treaty but an Accord that is signed and that a deadline (2010) to sign up for a legally binding agreement may be omitted from the final text.

FURTHER UPDATE: Latest Facebook update at 16:15 from Lib Dem MEP for Scotland George Lyon does not make for good reading.

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