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Umbrella Group & EU Acting Like Road Blocks

Written By mediavigil on Monday, December 14, 2009 | 10:53 PM

Developed countries must commit to emission cuts beyond 2012 under the Kyoto Protocol which was signed in 1997. They must agree to atleast 40 per cent cut in the 1990 level of emissions by 2020. US, a member of the Umbrella Group has offered to cut US emissions by 4 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020, subject to approval by the US Congress.

The EU has committed to a 20 per cent cut over the same time scale, but said it would raise this to 30 per cent if other countries made comparable efforts.

Lumumba Di-Aping, G77-China chief negotiator said, "It has become clear that the Danish presidency - in the most undemocratic fashion - is advancing the interests of the developed countries at the expense of the balance of obligations between developed and developing countries. The mistake they are doing now has reached levels that cannot be acceptable from a president who is supposed to be acting and shepherding the process on behalf of all parties."

Earlier also the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu forced a suspension in Copenhagen negotiations after insisting that proposals to amend the UN climate convention and Kyoto Protocol be debated in full.

Chair’s Proposed Draft Text on the Outcome of the Work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA)

Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) draft texts

Each Party to the Convention is represented at sessions of the Convention bodies by a national delegation consisting of one or more officials empowered to represent and negotiate on behalf of their government.

Based on the tradition of the United Nations, Parties are organized into five regional groups, mainly for the purposes of electing the Bureaux, namely: African States, Asian States, Eastern European States, Latin American and the Caribbean States, and the Western European and Other States (the "Other States" include Australia, Canada, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States of America, but not Japan, which is in the Asian Group).

The five regional groups, however, are not usually used to present the substantive interests of Parties and several other groupings are more important for climate negotiations.

Developing countries generally work through the Group of 77 to establish common negotiating positions. The G-77 was founded in 1964 in the context of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and now functions throughout the UN system. It has over 130 members. The country holding the Chair of the G-77 (which rotates every year) often speaks for the G-77 and China as a whole. However, because the G-77 and China is a diverse group with differing interests on climate change issues, individual developing countries also intervene in debates, as do groups within the G-77, such as the African UN regional Group, the Alliance of Small Island States and the group of Least Developed Countries.

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) is a coalition of some 43 low-lying and small island countries, most of which are members of the G-77, that are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise. AOSIS countries are united by the threat that climate change poses to their survival and frequently adopt a common stance in negotiations. They were the first to propose a draft text during the Kyoto Protocol negotiations calling for cuts in carbon dioxide emissions of 20% from 1990 levels by 2005.

The 49 countries defined as Least Developed Countries by the UN regularly work together in the wider UN system. They have become increasingly active in the climate change process, often working together to defend their particular interests, for example with regard to vulnerability and adaptation to climate change.

The 27 members of the European Union meet in private to agree on common negotiating positions. The country that holds the EU Presidency - a position that rotates every six months - then speaks for the European Community and its 27 member states. As a regional economic integration organization, the European Community itself can be, and is, a Party to the Convention. However, it does not have a separate vote from its members.

The Umbrella Group is a loose coalition of non-EU developed countries which formed following the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol. Although there is no formal list, the Group is usually made up of Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the US. The Umbrella Group evolved from the JUSSCANNZ group, which was active during the Kyoto Protocol negotiations (JUSSCANNZ is an acronym for Japan, the USA, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Norway and New Zealand).

The Environmental Integrity Group (EIG) is a recently formed coalition comprising Mexico, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland.

Several other groups also work together in the climate change process, including countries from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a group of countries of Central Asia, Caucasus, Albania and Moldova (CACAM), and countries that are members of organizations such as the League of Arab States and the Agence intergouvernementale de la francophonie.
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