France, Brazil unveil policy for climate conference
PARIS – France and Brazil adopted a common policy Saturday ahead of key UN global warming talks and vowed to launch a worldwide push to convince other powers to back their “climate bible”.
A joint text was unveiled after talks between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, which gave an outline of an agreement they want at the December 7-18 Copenhagen summit.
“We are making public… a French-Brazilian text because Brazil and France, we want Copenhagen to be a success, not a cut-price agreement,” Sarkozy told reporters in Paris.
“We are fighting for the world to live up to its historic responsibility,” the president added.
Lula hailed the text a “climate bible” and a “historic document”.
The text stresses the final objective of a “global reduction of at least 50 percent by 2050 compared with 1990” of damaging greenhouse gases worldwide.
For developed countries there must also be “ambitious objectives for reduction in the medium-term,” the text said.
Developing countries must also contribute to efforts to cut harmful emissions but in a “fair, global and robust framework” which should include “new and substantial financial support” for the poorest.
The document does not go into great detail, notably on figures, which have been a sticking point for the United States and China.
France-Brazil alliance pressures US, China on climate
Paris and Brasilia also agreed on the creation of a global environmental organisation, which could be set up in 2012.
The announcement came after Brazil on Friday said it would offer a “voluntary” cut of between 36 and 39 percent in greenhouse gas emissions at the Copenhagen summit.
Brazil is the fourth-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, largely because of carbon released through deforestation of its vast Amazon forest by ranchers and farmers.
The heads of state said they would launch an international drive to get other countries to back their text.
“Now with President Lula, we are going to do everything to gather the biggest number” of backers for the text, Sarkozy pledged.
The French president said that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be meeting Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, the host of the Copenhagen summit, next week.
He then plans a trip to Manaus, northern Brazil, for a meeting of 10 Amazonian countries.
The next stop will be a summit of Commonwealth countries scheduled for November 27 and 28 in Trinidad and Tobago. Britain, India, Canada and Australia will attend.
Sarkozy also said he planned to visit Africa, without giving further details.
Lula said he would phone US President Barack Obama, probably on Monday, ahead of Obama’s meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao which is due to take place on Tuesday in Beijing.
“We cannot let Obama and Hu Jintao reach an agreement which has as its basis only the economic realities of their two countries,” he said.
Lula criticised a “G2 of special interests”, using the term that refers to the idea China and the US will in future be the world’s two major powers.
“Obama and China need to be a bit more daring,” he said.
The success of the UN climate conference rests on developed countries agreeing to pay tens of billions of dollars to developing countries such as Brazil to entice them to cut emissions even as they pursue economic expansion.
“We are not demanding the impossible, we just want to do what is sensible,” Lula said.
The Copenhagen talks aim to seal a new climate accord to replace the Kyoto Protocol which is due to expire at the end of 2012.
The summit is open to the 192 members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto’s parent treaty.