Copenhagen deal will be 'political' not 'legal'

Miliband: political, not legal
Miliband: political, not legal

By Hollie Slade

The Copenhagen summit is unlikely to produce a legally binding way forward on tackling climate change, Ed Miliband has admitted.

Speaking to the House of Commons, Miliband said that a "political agreement" was a more likely outcome which he hoped to drive forward "on a very clear timetable, to a legally binding treaty".

Mr Miliband's admission comes after a difficult week for UN negotiations as a delegation of some of the poorest African countries walked out of talks in Barcelona in protest that rich nations were not prepared to make enough cuts in emissions to avoid significant climate change.

Political wrangling over the detail of the agreed proposals looks set to continue as China, India and Indonesia all recently published plans for emission cuts.

The political process in the US also threatens to derail agreement in Copenhagen as the US Congress said legislation might not be finalised for another six months.

Without domestic legislation in place, the US is unable to put forward detailed figures on cuts.

Mr Miliband told the Commons: "I think an agreement without numbers is not a great agreement. In fact it's a wholly inadequate agreement."


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