World News Brief, Thursday December 10

Trouble at Copehhagen talks; Japan's growth not as good as forecast; Phillipines resumes talks with Islamic terrorists; support for Obama's Afghanistan troop plan; and more

Top of the Agenda: Disputes over Copenhagen Agreement

Pressure is rising for global leaders to formulate a workable draft of a climate agreement in Copenhagen, as developed and developing countries increasingly diverge (NYT) on how to strike a deal. The two most contentious proposals came from Denmark and China. Denmark's was considered by many to be too accommodating of U.S. and industrialized countries' interests, while the draft by China was endorsed by a number of developing countries but dismissed by opposing groups. The main lines of disagreement include how much and how fast rich countries should cut their emissions; how much emerging economies like China and India should slow emissions; how much rich countries should compensate poor ones to limit the more extreme effects of climate change expected in countries near the equator; and how those payments can be administered and guaranteed, since commitments under earlier agreements have often fallen through.

Developing countries are demanding that rich nations commit more money and cut emissions more sharply. Chinese representatives said the Obama administration's proposal to cut U.S. emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels was not ambitious enough (WSJ) and that developed countries need to provide money and technology for developing countries seeking to limit their emissions.


In the National, Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, says more attention should be paid to direct policies that affect the immediate health and welfare of developing countries' populations, rather than on emissions cuts.

On Bloomberg, CFR's Amity Shlaes says that by raising the cost of production, an environmental treaty at Copenhagen could hurt youth employment.

On Politico, CFR's Mike Levi says leaders at Copenhagen have overestimated how much influence Monday's Environmental Protection Agency announcement will have on U.S. participation in the binding global deal they want.


A CFR Backgrounder examines Copenhagen's many agendas.


PACIFIC RIM: Japan Economic Growth

Japan revised its estimated real GDP growth from July to September to 1.3 percent year over year, a sharp drop (Xinhua) from its initial 4.8 percent estimate. It also adjusted its key measure of deflation as falling by 2.8 percent, rather than the initial 2.6 percent, the largest drop in Japanese prices in more than half a decade.

Philippines: The Philippine government resumed peace talks (al-Jazeera) with Islamic separatists after a sixteen-month hiatus.



EU calls for resumed talks between Israel and Palestine.
Top U.S. officials support Obama's Afghan troops plan.
UK to crack down on bank bonuses.