Fiona Harvey The REAL draft text

An official draft text of a possible agreement on climate change has now been published by the United Nations at the Copenhagen climate change summit.

As usual, it’s a text that will not please anyone in its entirety.

The European Union is vexed that the text does not require developing countries to make their commitments to curb their emissions legally binding. This is a big stumbling block.

Rich countries also do not want the current emissions targets in the text – 25 to 40 per cent reductions on 1990 levels by 2020 – to remain in. At present, they are in square brackets, which denotes they could be removed.

And developing countries are annoyed that the text does not contain any commitments from the rich world on financing.

But the text is a start. As Yvo de Boer, the UN’s top climate change official, said early on Friday afternoon, the text shows that people are moving on from some of the detail of the negotiations – mechanisms for technology transfer, how to deal with forests – to “the big picture”.

That, at least, is progress.

Related links:

The leaked ‘Danish draft’: An NGO-created storm that will not benefit poor countries? (FT Energy Source, 09/12/09)
Danish pastry: flakey, flakey, flakey
(FT Energy Source, 09/12/09)
As Copenhagen approaches, the negotiating text needs a lot of negotiating
(FT Energy Source, 29/09/09)