Chinese President Hu Jintao said in September that developed countries should support developing countries in climate change. On the same day, US President Barrack Obama said “We understand the gravity of the climate threat. We are determined to act. And we will meet our responsibility to the future generations.” On October 27th, EU environment commissioner, Stavros Dimas said “We are going to over-achieve our Kyoto targets.” India’s environment minister Jairam Ramesh said on October 21st, “Internationally legally binding targets are for developed countries and developed countries alone.”

Less than two weeks to go for the Copenhagen conference and the final round of preparatory talks in Barcelona have revealed deep divisions between the key participants.

Though India agrees to limit growth of greenhouse gas emissions, it says that rich countries are to be blamed for climate change and comparisons should be done on the basis of per-capita emissions. India also wants firm pledges in funding and technology transfer from the developed countries. China also promises to emit “notably” less CO2 per unit of GDP by 2020 but wants rich countries to reduce emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and says that they should pay 1% of their GDP to help other countries in adaptation. Being the world’s biggest GHG producer (20.7$ of global emissions), China has huge responsibility on its shoulders.

United States, on the other hand, is resisting demands to pledge quantified emissions cuts and is against a Kyoto-style treaty. US is insisting the developing countries to commit to slow growth in emissions and the climate bill (which would bring cuts of 4% from 1990 levels by 2020) is bogged down in Senate.

EU is the only one who seems to step up strongly and aspires to play “leading role” in Copenhagen. The union aims to cut emissions by 20%, from 1990 levels by 2020 or even 30% if other big emitters take action. It wants poorer nations to slow emissions growth and the rich nations to make 50% cuts by 2050.

Though there seems to be some hope coming from EU and Japan, a final treaty is far from possible in COP15 and probably an early 15.5 will seal the final deal.

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