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President Obama declared in his State of the Union address on January 27, to a standing ovation, that the United States would not take second place to anyone in the world, and specifically to countries such as China and India. The specific reference to China and India highlighted their growing importance on the global stage. India and China increasingly have been presenting a united front against the United States and the rest of the developed world, despite their own on-going political and territorial disputes (as we noted in our articles entitled, India, China, and the Doha Round, and India and China Turn Up the Heat on Climate Change).

We predicted in India and China Turn Up the Heat on Climate Change that an alliance between India and China could present a formidable barrier at the climate change meetings in Copenhagen in December 2009. Indeed, the talks have been regarded by many as a failure, and the resulting Accord as “low-ambition.” Just as India, with the support of China, had been blamed by the United States for the failure of the Doha Round in July 2008, China, with the support of India, has been blamed by many for the failure of Copenhagen.

The Copenhagen Accord, drafted by Brazil, China, India, South Africa (the “BASIC” countries) and the United States, is not legally binding, and was recognized but not approved by the 193 countries represented at Copenhagen. It seeks to limit a rise in temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and sets a goal that developed countries jointly will deliver $30 billion of aid over the next three years and $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries cope with the impact of climate change.

Developing countries, including China and India, have made clear that they will join other countries to combat climate change, but not at the expense of their own economic interests. They conditioned acting on the receipt of significant concessions from the developed world, which they see as primarily responsible for the problem they are being asked to address.

Both China and India chose Copenhagen as the platform from which to demonstrate that they could not be bullied by the developed world. India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh stated in an address following the meetings in Copenhagen that the alliance of BASIC countries highlighted the growing influence of emerging economies. He further characterized as a significant victory the commitment from developed countries to provide $100 billion/year in climate funding without having to make significant concessions in return. He indicated that close links with China would continue. China also declared that Copenhagen proved China could not be pushed around.

India has been concerned about the binding nature of the Copenhagen Accord. Even though India was among the countries that brokered the deal, sources have said that it announced its support for the Accord only after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon clarified to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the Accord was a political statement of intent with no legal force. In the aftermath of the Copenhagen meetings, Minister Ramesh even “pled guilty” for allowing provision for “international consultation and analysis” of domestic mitigation programs, a greater concession than merely informing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”) about domestic mitigation programs. When the environment ministers of the BASIC countries met on January 24, 2010, Minister Ramesh stated that the Copenhagen Accord has “no hope” of becoming a legally binding document.

The Copenhagen Accord did include a January 31, 2010 deadline for countries to outline their climate change plans and declare specific emission reduction targets. More than 50 countries respected the deadline, including India and China. India committed to reduce emissions by 20-25% by 2020 (in comparison to 2005 levels) through domestic mitigation efforts, but stated specifically that “its domestic mitigation actions will be entirely voluntary in nature and will not have a legally binding character.” India further stated that “mitigation actions will also not apply to agriculture sector. The emissions from agriculture sector will be excluded from the assessment of emissions intensity.”

China stated in a January 28 letter that it would endeavor to cut the amount of carbon produced per unit of economic output by 40 to 45 percent below projected growth levels by 2020, also from a 2005 base. However, given China’s projected rate of economic growth, China still would increase substantially its total carbon emissions while expecting the developed countries to decrease their emissions drastically.

Whether the Copenhagen meeting was successful cannot be determined strictly from the setting of targets, on the one hand, and the absence of any legally binding agreement, on the other. It may be that “success” will have to be measured by “progress,” with the standard for progress reasonably modest and determined by actual carbon emission reductions worldwide. Nonetheless, unmistakably there will be no global progress without the developing world. Copenhagen confirmed a China-India alliance as the base of a larger group of developing countries resistant to progress at their expense.

China, India, Brazil, and South Africa are now central to progress on climate change. They have asked the UNFCC to hold six meetings through 2010 in preparation for the next climate summit in Mexico City in December. The BASIC ministers themselves will meet once each quarter, first in Cape Town at the end of April 2010. The European Community had entered Copenhagen with even greater ambition than the United States. The BASIC countries proved that Europe, the United States, and other developed countries will make little or no progress without them.
 

        奥巴马总统在1月27日国情咨文演讲中宣布美国在世界事务中不会屈居第二,尤其不会落后于中国和印度。他在演讲中着重指出中国和印度说明这两个国家在世界事务中日益扮演更重要的角色。虽然中印间仍存在政治、领土纠纷,但是两国仍在美国及发达国家前组成共同阵营(见《印度、中国及多哈会谈》、《中印为气候变化加温》)。

        我们在《中印为气候变化加温》一文中预测中印联盟将成为2009年哥本哈根会谈的阻碍。不出所料,这一会谈被许多观察家视为失败,会谈签署的协议也被视为“缺少野心”。正如美国指控中国支持下的印度应为2008年7月多哈会谈失败负责,在哥本哈根会谈中受印度支持的中国面临同样的指责。

        巴西、中国、南非(“基础国家”)与美国联合起草的《哥本哈根协定》不具法律效力,这一协议虽为与会的193国认可,但却没有得到她们的批准。这一协定试图将升温限制在不高于工业化程度前全球气温2摄氏度的范围之内,还要求发达国家在未来三年内提供300亿美金的资金支持,并将每年提供一千亿美金的资金支持发展中国家应对气候变化带来的影响,直至2020年。

        包括中印在内的发展中国家明确表示她们将和其他国家一起应对气候变化,但决不会以牺牲她们的经济利益为代价。她们表示她们的行动将以发达国家的重大让步为基础,因为她们认为发达国家应对气候变暖负主要责任。

        中国和印度都选择哥本哈根作为显示她们不向发达国家屈服的战场。印度环境部长Jairam Ramesh 在会谈结束后的演讲中指出,基础国家联盟标志着发展中国家的影响力日益增强。他还指出发达国家承诺每年提供一千亿美金的资金支持、而发展中国家没有做出重大让步是发展中国家取得的重大胜利。他表示将继续和中国紧密合作。而中国也声称哥本哈根会谈证明中国不会为他国所左右

        印度一直担心《哥本哈根协定》的法律效力。虽然印度是促成这一协定的国家之一,知情者指出印度直至联合国秘书长向印度总理澄清这一政治声明不具法律效力后,才宣布支持这一协定。在哥本哈根会谈后,印度总理因协议中有就国内减排措施进行“国际磋商和分析”这一条款而向公众“认罪”,因为这一条款比联合国气候变化框架公约有关条款做出更大让步。当基础国家的环境部长于2010年1月24日举行会谈时,Ramesh部长说这一协定“没有希望”成为具有法律效力的文件。

        《哥本哈根协定》设立了2010年1月31日这一最后截止日期让各国列出气候变化方案及减排目标。包括中印在内的50多个国家尊重这一截止日期。印度承诺通过国内减排措施,至2020年减排百分之20至25(与2005年排放量相比),但强调“她的国内减排措施建立在自愿原则上,不受法律效力限制”。印度进一步指出“减排措施不包括农业产业。农业领域的排放将排除在排放限量内”。

        中国在1月28日的信中承诺争取到2020年单位国内生产总值二氧化碳排放比2005年减排百分之40至45。但是根据中国的经济增长预测,中国将持续增加二氧化碳排放总量,但她同时却希望发达国家显著减少排放量。

        哥本哈根会谈成功与否既不能仅以设定目标为标准,也不能以缺少具有法律效力的文件为标志。“成功”或许应当以“进展”来衡量,而“进展”的衡量标准相对较低、且以全球范围内的实际减排量为标准。然而,没有发展中国家的努力不可能实现全球减排。哥本哈根会谈证明中印联盟是众多发展中国家拒绝以她们的牺牲为代价参与谈判的基础。

        中国、印度、巴西和南非是气候变化谈判进展的核心。她们要求联合国气候变化框架公约在2010年12月前举行六次会谈,为墨西哥峰会作准备。“基础国家”将每一季度会谈一次,第一次会谈将于4月在南非开普敦举行。欧盟在哥本哈根会谈前提出比美国更高的目标。但是“基础国家”证明没有这些发展中国家的支持,欧洲、美国和其他发达国家不可取得进展。
 

         “成功”或许应当以“进展”来衡量,而“进展”的衡量标准相对较低、且以全球范围内的实际减排量为标准。然而,没有发展中国家的努力不可能实现全球减排。哥本哈根会谈证明中印联盟是一大群发展中国家拒绝以她们的牺牲为代价的基础。

        中国、印度、巴西和南非是气候变化谈判进展的核心。她们要求联合国气候变化框架公约在2010年12月前举行六次会谈,为墨西哥峰会作准备。“基础国家”将每一季度会谈一次,第一次会谈将于4月在南非开普敦举行。欧盟在哥本哈根会谈前提出比美国更高的目标。但是“基础国家”证明没有这些发展中国家的支持,欧洲、美国和其他发达国家不可取得进展。

 (翻译:朱晶)