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16 Dec 2009

AMY GOODMAN: Rio was 1992.

SUNITA NARAIN: Ninety-two. I was in Berlin when the Berlin Mandate was set. That was '95 when the Berlin Mandate was decided upon. I was in Kyoto when we talked about the Kyoto Protocol in end of 1997.

Think about it: Where was Mr Obama in 1997?

And every conference had definitely difficulties. Definitely we've had difficulties between the North and the South. But I think the kind of distrust that you have at this meeting, the kind of bad organization that you have, the lack of process, the lack of transparency, the enormous effort there seems to be to somehow fix the deal--and that's completely unacceptable. And I think, you know, if it's the Danish government or if it's the US government working with the Danish government, I think the only lesson to them is that they really cannot do this and get away.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you think is being lost right now? Explain, as hundred--more than a hundred heads of state come to Copenhagen.

SUNITA NARAIN: Time. I think what is really being lost today is time. We know that climate change is urgent. We need to do something about it. We need to reduce the emissions that we have. And this conference was to come after two years of negotiations.

And yet, what you have at this conference is a complete breakdown, and it's not because of the developing countries. It's not because of India and China. That's, you know, just hiding behind two countries. It's very clear: it's because the United States wants to dismantle the Kyoto Protocol. They want to dismantle the Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is based on the notion of equity. They want to bring to --in fact, they want to replace it with a completely different multilateral system. So there is a breakdown here, and there are countries responsible for it, but my suspicion is, on Friday, when President Obama does descend to the city, the world media is going to blame the poor nations and not the rich nations.

AMY GOODMAN: What does it mean--what kind of pressure is being brought to fix the deal?

SUNITA NARAIN: Well, I think there's both overt pressure and there is pressure from--you know, which is hidden pressure. When you look at--firstly, we need to understand what's the deal that the rich nations want. The rich nations want a deal in which, without Kyoto, they have an agreement, which is based on pledge and review, a system in which every country, including the United States, puts up a number and says this is what they will do domestically. So there is no multilateral framework which will make every country agree to a certain target for reduction. And we know that the US has put on the table a very small number, three percent below 1990 levels, when it needs to cut 40 percent. That's the deal they want.

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Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Dec 18th, 2009 at 09:59:37 PM EST
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