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Emma Alberici, "Leaked Agreement Rocks Copenhagen"

Leaked Agreement Rocks Copenhagen Emma Alberici, Australian Broadcasting Company

The Copenhagen climate talks have been rocked by the leak of a draft final agreement which weakens the role of the United Nations in climate change negotiations and abandons the Kyoto Protocol.

The "Danish text" draft agreement, published by the UK's Guardian newspaper, has been described as a dangerous document for developing countries.

Over the past week, parts of Denmark's proposal have leaked into the public domain, but this is the first time it has been published in its entirety.

According to the Guardian, the secret agreement has been worked on by a group of individuals known as the 'circle of commitment'.

It is understood to include Australia, the US, the UK and Denmark, which are all said to have finalised the deal in the past two days.

The document abandons the Kyoto Protocol, sidelines the United Nations in future climate change negotiations, and hands most of the power to rich countries.

The Kyoto Protocol relied on the principle that rich nations - responsible for the bulk of emissions - can and should be compelled to take on the biggest burden when it comes to cutting those emissions.

Under Kyoto, poorer nations were not required to act at all.

The leaked agreement not only brings the developing world into the frame, it allows rich countries to emit twice as much carbon as poor countries.

Elephant in the room

Oxfam International is troubled by the absence of any reference to the Kyoto Protocol, which is the only legally binding agreement on the table.

Oxfam's climate change advisor Antonio Hill says the sidelining of the UN in future negotiations is particularly troubling.

"What it reflects is what you can expect at this stage in the game - when the elephant's in the room the ants get squeezed out," he said.

"And so the concern here is that poor countries will get left out.

"That's a huge concern for us. The attention to this document takes the focus off the negotiations that are actually still in course just this minute, and I think the responsibility of the Danish presidency is to clear the air and then focus on those crunch issues.

"And I think those [issues] are about long-term finance and making sure that rich countries are going to deliver what's needed to help developing counties do their part, as well as some complicated things around how we measure emission reductions both in rich countries and in developing countries as well.

"And finally on the legal form, making sure that everyone is clear that a legally binding agreement is on the table and will be on the table right until the last minute here in Copenhagen."

'Spaghetti bowl' funding

The "Danish text" hands control of the global adaptation fund to the World Bank, and the new financing accord is intended to help the poor cope with rising temperatures while also cutting their own carbon emissions.

The draft includes a figure of $10 billion a year, which Mr Hill says is way short of what is needed.

"Coming out of Copenhagen, that's what we need - to get away from the spaghetti bowl of random funding channels that we now have and set something up that allows large-scale funds.

"At least $200 billion is needed every year by 2020 to allow developing countries to cope with climate changes that are already inevitable, and secondly to join the international effort to actually slash emissions."

A statement issued this morning by UN climate chief Yvo de Boer says that the draft decision paper put forward by the Danish Prime Minister was an informal document for the purposes of consultations.