Over the weekend, in a matter of minutes, the U.S. rejected and then accepted a compromise at Bali that sets the stage for global warming negotiations that will end in 2009, CNN reports.
The head of the U.S. delegation, Paula Dobriansky, undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs, announced (CNN Video) the U.S. was rejecting the Bali plan. Her comments were met by booing from other delegations. After Dobriansky’s announcement, a delegate from the developing country of Papua New Guinea challenged the U.S. to “either lead, follow or get out of the way.”
Five minutes later, when it appeared the conference was on the brink of collapse, Dobriansky took the floor again to say the U.S. was willing to acceded to language pledging industrialized countries to provide quantifiable technological and financial aid to less well-off nations, including the economies of China, India and Brazil, The Mercury News reports.
The EU wanted an agreement to require developed countries to cut their emissions by 25 to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2020. The U.S., Japan and Canada opposed those targets. When these specific guidelines were removed from wording about future emission cuts, the way was paved for a compromise.
The compromise helped to secure an action plan (PDF) which sets out an agenda for climate change negotiations for the period after 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends, Forbes reports. The European Commission said in a statement that the conference set a deadline of the end of 2009 to complete negotiations to allow time for governments to ratify and implement the future climate agreement by the end of 2012.
Decisions adopted at Bali can be seen here.