Copenhagen climate talks suspended in Africa-led protest, Then Resumed
The main sessions of UN climate talks in Copenhagen were suspended on Monday in a protest led by African nations and the developing countries accusing rich countries of trying to wreck the existing UN Kyoto Protocol.
"This is a walk-out over process and form, not a walkout over substance, and that's regrettable," Australian Climate Change
Minister Penny Wong said of the action.
The countries were angry that the conference was weakening in support for the Kyoto Protocol, the core emissions-curbing treaty, they said.
"They have walked out, I am advised, of the working groups," one Western minister told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The minister added: "This is salvageable. It depends if people want to be constructive."
The move was unleashed by African countries, which had the support of the G77 group of developing countries, they said.
They refused to continue negotiations unless talks on a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol were given priority over broader discussions on a "long-term vision" for cooperative action on climate change.
African nations later said they would return to the talks on Monday, allowing the negotiations to resume, after winning assurances that the conference put more focus on extending the existing Kyoto Protocol. "We're going back," Pa Ousman Jarju from the delegation of Gambia, told Reuters. The protest held up the talks that had been due to start at 1030 GMT.