EU teams up with smaller countries at COP17

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Some of the exhibitions at COP17. Source: GCIS

By Kemantha Govender

Durban – The to try to push key players for an ambitious outcome at COP17.

One of the main messages to come from the EU’s press conference on Friday was that all three groups were ready to undertake concrete obligations to manage climate change.

“For many countries, this is a matter of survival and this process should be able to deliver an answer to meet their worries,” a joint statement said.

But Connie Hedegaard, European Union climate change commissioner, said should “big countries” fail to sign up to the new deal, there would be as if there were no deal.

Hedegaard said the gap between their ambitions and the current pledges was too wide.

The EU said they were too far from where they needed to be to secure the most vulnerable countries’ right to sustainable development.

“We need firm and clear decisions mapping out next year’s steps that deliver the ambition we need. This includes agreeing [to the] amendment of the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period together with a robust mandate and roadmap for a legally binding agreement instrument.

“Under this instrument, all parties to the UNFCCC need to commit, respecting the principle of common but differentiated responsibility,” the statement said.

The EU put forward a “road map” at the climate change talks and by last night said more than 120 of the 194 negotiating parties supported it.

With only a few hours left of the conference, a few press briefings, including one from South Africa, are expected to take place later tonight. – BuaNews