British Newspaper Played Key Role In Demise Of Copenhagen Climate Conference

Was this responsible behavior by the Guardian? Comments welcome below!

The Copenhagen conference was destroyed from the start by the leak of the “Danish draft” negotiating text to The Guardian, the Indian environment minister said this weekend in a warning that the breakdown of international trust would continue to undermine climate talks this year.

In an interview with The Guardian ahead of a new round of meetings, Jairam Ramesh shed new light on last December’s fraught summit and highlighted the continuing gulf between rich nations and the Basic block of emerging economies — Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

Dismissing Britain’s attempt to blame China for the disappointment of Copenhagen, the Indian minister said the outcome was determined by a failed “ambush”, targeted at the leaders of emerging economies, by the host nation Denmark. This attempted to switch a new negotiating text for the existing UN texts.

“The Danish draft was circulated at the beginning of the conference, which got mysteriously leaked to the Guardian. That completely destroyed trust. It was the leak of the Danish draft that destroyed Copenhagen from day one,” said Ramesh, at a sustainable growth forum in Hainan.

The Danish text was a proposed compromise, which was confidentially circulated in advance of the conference to senior negotiators. Ramesh said he and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua had informally seen the document and pointed out which areas were unacceptable.

This back door negotiating track collapsed when the text was leaked before consensus had been reached, undermining the authority of the Danish chair, Connie Hedegaard.

“Yesterday Connie Hedegaard came to see me in Delhi and she admitted for the first time that the leak of the Danish draft was the death blow from which Copenhagen never recovered,” said Ramesh…

[continues in the Guardian]

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