China hijacked Copenhagen: UK

China vetoed attempts to give legal force to the climate accord, alleges Britain.

Updated: Dec 21, 2009, 09:44 AM IST

London: China "hijacked" the Copenhagen summit by blocking a legally-binding treaty, Britain`s Climate Change Secretary David Miliband said on Monday. China vetoed attempts to give legal force to the accord reached at the United Nations climate summit in the Danish capital, Miliband wrote in The Guardian newspaper.

It also blocked an agreement on reductions in global emissions, he said.
"This was a chaotic process dogged by procedural games," Miliband wrote.

"The procedural wrangling was, in fact, a cover for points of serious, substantive disagreement.

"The vast majority of countries, developed and developing, believe that we will only construct a lasting accord that protects the planet if all countries` commitments or actions are legally binding.

"But some leading developing countries currently refuse to countenance this. That is why we did not secure an agreement that the political accord struck in Copenhagen should lead to a legally binding outcome.

"We did not get an agreement on 50 per cent reductions in global emissions by 2050 or on 80 per cent reductions by developed countries.
"Both were vetoed by China, despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries."

He added: "The last two weeks at times have presented a farcical picture to the public. We cannot again allow negotiations on real points of substance to be hijacked in this way."

The summit set a commitment to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), but did not spell out the important global emissions targets for 2020 or 2050 that are the key to holding down temperatures.

It also promised 100 billion dollars for poor nations that risk bearing the brunt of the global warming fallout, but has not given a fixed payout plan.

Bureau Report