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|Poor countries have demanded that the
US spends as much on tackling climate change as it does on warfare.
The row between the rich countries and the developing world
intensified at the Copenhagen summit, as China and its supporters
blamed America for “endangering the world” by refusing to hand over
Developing nations are pushing for £120bn ( $200bn) to help them
tackle the effects of global warming, which is double the amount of
money currently on the table.
In a new twist to the negotiations, Lumumba di-Aping, chief
negotiator of the China and the G77 group of nations, made a direct
appeal to US politicians to reapportion cash currently set aside for
global financial emergencies.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) holds billions of pounds to
bail out countries suffering cash shortages.
Developing nations now argue that it should be offered in loans, so
that they can they can build sea defences, plant forests and invest
in renewable energy.
“The American Congress has to be asked: you approve billions of
dollars in defence budgets. Can’t you approve $200bn to save the
world?” Mr di-Aping said.
The proposal to use the emergency funds was first suggested by
George Soros, the billionaire US investor.
Mr Soros warned that the row now engulfing Copenhagen could “wreck
The rift was sparked by Tuvalu, the tiny island state, that has
staged noisy protests at the talks. It is calling for any deal to
restrict warming to a rise of 2.7F (1.5C).
It was backed by other vulnerable nations in Africa and the leaders
from developing nations that make up more than half the world’s
However, this would be almost impossible and most countries have
made it clear they would not sign up to such a strict target.
Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, US President Barack Obama called on
countries negotiating at Copenhagen to “reach for the world that
ought to be”.
But at the summit, developing countries renewed their strong
criticism of the President for refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol –
a key source of disagreement.
They want to keep the global treaty, which forces rich countries cut
their carbon dioxide emissions by fixed amounts but makes developing
countries exempt from binding targets.
Others want a whole new treaty forcing both rich and poor countries
to reduce their greenhouse gases.
Under former President George Bush, the US consistently refused to
sign the treaty and it still does not have legally binding targets
to lower emissions.
“We ask President Obama and the US to go into the Kyoto Protocol,
because the world cannot achieve an equitable and a just deal that
would save the planet without the participation of the US,” Mr di-Aping
The European Union, including the UK, was also under pressure today
as leaders met for the European Council. Again developing countries
want the block of nations to increase funding to fight climate
change and put up targets to cut emissions from 20 to 30 per cent by