Threatening the G77

David Steven
14 December 2007

A sobering review of progress from the G77 and China, whose Chairman just complained bitterly about the pressure developing countries were coming under to make concessions.

Unspecified countries - probably the US and Canada, and possibly Japan as well - had threatened trade sanctions if the developing world refused to take on commitments to reduce or limit their emissions, Munir Akram told us.

Maybe the threats had been made in the heat of the moment, he conceded, but "what's in the heart and the mind sometimes comes to the tongue."

The Pakistan Ambassador to the UN was calm in his demeanour and delivery. But he left journalists in little doubt about the acrimony of that has beset these talks.

After such a fractious fortnight and with agreement remaining uncertain, I asked what hope was there that negotiations on an ambitious global deal to reduce emissions.

Some elements could be agreed quite quickly, he suggested. But the main deal would be much more difficult to push through:

"I have my personal doubts whether such a major result could be achieved in just two years."
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