U.S. agrees to compromise in Bali
By M&C US News Dec 15, 2007, 19:14 GMT
Paula Dobriansky, US Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Global Affairs, answers journalist\'s questions after the first day of the United Nations conference trying to boost the support for the Iraqis who have fled violence in their country, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 17 April 2007. Up to 50,000 people are fleeing their homes every month in Iraq, more than in any other country in the world, according to aid agencies. EPA/SALVATORE DI NOLFI
The United States made a dramatic reversal Saturday, first rejecting and then accepting a compromise to set the stage for negotiations in the next two years aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
CNN reports that the U.N. climate change conference in Bali was filled with emotion and cliff-hanging anticipation on Saturday, an extra day added because of a failure to reach agreement during the scheduled sessions.
The final result: Negotiating rounds to conclude in 2009.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the pact "a good beginning." "This is just a beginning and not an ending," Ban said. "We'll have to engage in many complex, difficult and long negotiations." Video Watch as emotional conference declared a success ».
The head of the U.S. delegation, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky was booed Saturday afternoon when she announced that the United States was rejecting the plan as then written because they were "not prepared to accept this formulation."
She said developing countries such as China and India that obscenely pollute their environments needed to carry more of the responsibility.
CNN reported that a short speech issued by a delegate from the small developing country of Papua New Guinea appeared to affect the Americans.
The delegate challenged the United States to "either lead, follow or get out of the way."
Just five minutes later, when it appeared the conference was on the brink of collapse, Dobriansky took to the floor again to announce the United States was willing to accept the arrangement.
Applause erupted in the hall and a relative level of success for the conference appeared certain.
The U.N. climate change conference had been scheduled to end Friday. But the delegates returned to the negotiating table early Saturday after talks went well into the night before. The new pact is meant as a roadmap for future climate talks, which will culminate in Copenhagen in 2009.
The EU wanted an agreement to require developed countries to cut their emissions by 25 to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2020. The United States opposes those targets, along with Japan and Canada.
While the EU and the United States appeared to have ended their impasse, India had objections to other parts of the agreement, notably the contributions developed nations would make to help developing nations clean up their emissions problems. Talks were expected to continue for several more hours.
Environmental groups said the new pact makes the agreement less forceful than it might have been, but agreed that it is probably the best that could be had given the objections of the Bush administration.