The deal struck by United Nations envoys this week to fight climate change gives the biggest polluters three options for a wider agreement by 2015, setting the stage for renewed discord between rich and poor countries. Negotiators from more than 190 nations agreed Dec. 11 to spend up to four years drafting a “protocol, legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force” to take effect by 2020.
While the European Union says that calls for a treaty to limit fossil-fuel emissions in all countries, two of the world’s three biggest air polluters, China and India, signalled they expect to be assigned looser limits in the final accord. EU carbon permits are headed for their biggest weekly drop since June, Bloomberg report said. “The phrase ‘agreed outcome with legal force’ is new,” Lou Leonard, a lawyer and director of WWF’s climate change program in Washington, said in an interview. “They just made it up. We don’t know what it means.”