Cracks emerged on Tuesday in the alliance on climate change formed at the Copenhagen conference last week, with leading developing countries criticising the resulting accord. The so-called BASIC countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – backed the accord in a meeting with the US on Friday night, and it was also supported by nearly all other nations at the talks, including all of the biggest emitters.
But on Tuesday the Brazilian government labelled the accord “disappointing” and complained that the financial assistance it contained from rich to poor countries was insufficient. South Africa also raised objections: Buyelwa Sonjica, the environment minister, called the failure to produce a legally binding agreement “unacceptable”. She said her government had considered leaving the meeting.
“We are not defending this, as I have indicated, for us it is not acceptable, it is definitely not acceptable,” she said. There was even harsher criticism from Andreas Carlgren, environment minister of Sweden, current holder of the rotating European Union presidency, who proclaimed the Copenhagen accord “a disaster” and “a great failure.
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