COPENHAGEN — After a week of U.N. climate talks, some money is finally on the table and a draft agreement has been circulated. Now the really hard bargaining begins.
The draft proposal was sent around Friday to the 192-nation conference, although it set no firm figures on financing or cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
"It's time to begin to focus on the big picture," said Yvo de Boer, the top U.N. climate official. "The serious discussion on finance and targets has begun."
A much-disputed 188-page text was whittled down to a mere seven pages of stark options on how much global warming is acceptable. Options ranged from nearly eliminating global emissions to cutting them in half by 2050.
Todd Stern, the special U.S. climate envoy, called the text "constructive" but singled out a section on helping poor countries lower their growth of carbon emissions as "unbalanced." He said the requirements on industrial countries were tougher than on developing nations and the section was not "a basis for negotiation."
The text says all countries together should reduce emissions by between 50 and 95 percent by 2050, and rich countries should cut emissions by 25 to 40 percent by 2020, in both cases using 1990 as the baseline year.
As the draft was circulated, European Union leaders announced in Brussels after two days of tough talks that they would commit $3.6 billion a year until 2012 to a short-term fund for poor countries. Most of the money came from Britain, France and Germany.
Still unknown is how much the wealthier nations, such as the United States and Japan, will contribute.