Friday, December 11, 2009

“A deal that cannot save God, humanity and nature is not a deal that we should entertain”

Lumumba Di-Aping, Sudanese by birth and chief negotiator of the G-77 bloc, invited NGOs to a briefing this afternoon. News traveled fast, and although there were no formal announcement, over 300 people filled the room within minutes. 

By now, two tracks of negotiation are suspended (AWG-KP and LCA) over the issue of creating contact groups. Lumumba Di-Aping has been busy in closed door negotiations, and several scheduled briefings have been cancelled.

Di-Aping, himself from Sudan, used this opportunity to lay out the priorities of the G-77/China. He said, “The first fundamental that we should fight for is 1.5 degree C and 350 ppm. A deal that cannot save God, humanity and nature is not a deal that we should entertain.  Those who articulated a perspective that a 2 degrees C is a sound choice have made a trade off between life humanity, and profit and record seeking pursuits.”

Not only are the African countries threatened by a 2 degree C rise in temperatures, but the “the small islands states are equally being threatened by the sea level rise.” Di-Aping was adamant: “Two degrees C is certain death for Africa; is certain devastation of island states. … So that’s one fundamental, if not the starting proposition, for beginning sound negotiations and discussions.”

Di-Aping went on to state that there needed to be a radical reduction of emissions in the developed countries.  He believes that not only must the Kyoto Protocol be defended, but also that the United States must join.  There needs to be a “significant and substantial financial package for both the short term and the long term.”  He pointed out that $2.5 billion dollars was insignificant compared to the $300 billion that the “bankers in London pocketed this year.”

Tomorrow’s plenaries will be a chance to work on some of these issues. Stay tuned.

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